for oboe/English horn, horn, cello, percussion (1) and two pianos
… un arco iris negro sobre la noche azul was written in late 1988 and first performed in 1989 at the June in Buffalo Contemporary Music Festival. The title translates as “A black rainbow above the blue night,” and is a line taken from a poem by Federico García Lorca, Spain’s greatest poet of the 20th century.
For me, the imagery of García Lorca’s poetry has always been one of its most fascinating aspects. These unexpected, paradoxical turns of phases possess, somehow, their own logic, and certain phrases or lines can almost become obsessions. I have attempted in this piece to recreate some of this obsessive quality that this line, in particular, has for me.
Technically, arco iris is written in an asymmetrical arch form, and much of it is concerned with heterophony flowing in and out of true unison.
recorded by Mike Tracy, Tom Walsh and Denine LeBlanc
available from the University of Louisville