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Seis metaplasmos / Six metaplams

For two Violins

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The composition of this work coincides with a moment of intense interest on my part towards language and everything related to it, especially in its very tempting, although no less thorny, relationships with music. The term metaplasm is nothing more than the generic name of what is known in grammar as "figures of speech", that is, certain alterations introduced in the use of some words. Of the possible metaplasms, I have used the three that add letters at the beginning, middle, or end of words (prothesis -aqueste for este-, epenthesis -Ingalaterra for Inglaterra-, and paragoge -huéspede for huésped-), and the three that remove letters at the beginning, in the middle or at the end (apheresis -norabuena for enhorabuena-, syncope -navidad for natividad-, and apocope -ningún for ninguno-). In the Six metaplasms this is revealed in two sections that, in turn, are subdivided into three subsections each, in which a gloss of each of the figures is proposed, in the order indicated above.
Thus, the first three subsections revolve around a compound phrase made up of a succession of triple and quadruple string chords alternated between both violins, grouped together in periods, always on an agitated background, in the form of perpetual motion. The phrase grows period by period and, subsequently, dissolves in the same way, and in its development each period undergoes some of the transformations proposed by the metaplasm used, applied to musical discourse: in the first subsection, "prothesis", each period goes preceded by some element (one or several sounds or chords): in "epenthesis", the period is extended in the same way in its central zone: in "paragoges", on the other hand, it is extended at the end.
The second section presents a change of character and texture, developing in a slow tempo, based on differentiated sections that are linked by a succession of very fast notes, which make up a series of twelve notes, hastening to clarify that this has nothing to do with twelve-tone music, at least in the most academic sense of the term. Following the idea of the remaining three metaplasms, the series, presented alternately in its four "possible dimensions", loses in the first subsection, "apheresis", one of the first four sounds; in the second, "syncopes", one of the four central ones, and in the third, "apocopes", one of the last four.

The Six metaplasms were composed in Madrid, in August 1990, and are dedicated to Polina Kotliarskaya and Francisco Comesaña, who were responsible for its premiere in February 1991, at the "Reina Sofía" Art Center in Madrid.

The duo formed by Polina Kotliarskaya and
Francisco Comesaña, in 1991


Recording: Rebecca Hirsch and Jonathan Harvey

First page of the Six metaplasms

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(Score without watermarks available at www.asesores-musicales.com )