Idolos del sueño (2009) (18.00’) soprano voice, violin, clarinet, cello, and piano

Idolos del sueño was written for CONTINUUM, NYC in 2010. The lyrics contain three poems by Cuban-American poet Carlos Pintado. I found inspiration on his poems because they contain profound metaphors on live, time, love, and poetic reflections on our brief but also highly emotional and pervasive existence.

The poetic images of The way things disappear or stay make a parallel between the pacing of time in nature and human time. At the end of the poem he describes time in nature as endless, in spite of the brief duration of our human lives. My interpretation of this poem was reflected in the pacing of the musical events and the general structure of the first song.

Taubenschlag, the title of the second poem and song, is the main character of the novel The white dominican by Gustav Meyrink. One of his tasks was to turn on and off the oil filled street lamps of his hometown. This type of character does not exist in our modern world. It brings certain nostalgia from the past that Pintado captured on his poem and I tried to capture in my music. The third poem and song is contrasting in character with the first two. I interpreted “Dream Eidolons” as a reassurance of one’s identity, which I expressed with a musical idiom full of lively polyrhythms and syncopations. In general, I recreated the music that was already present on Pintado’s poems adding to them a sound universe.

I- VIENDO CÓMO LAS COSAS PERMANECEN (Carlos Pintado)

Mirar la delicada transparencia

Del agua que se escurre ante mis ojos;

Las horas nunca pasan, son despojos,

Reflejos de un pasado sin presencia

Y sin olvido. Miro un cuadro triste:

Lo que tan breve queda va a morirse

En otro sitio o tiempo, como al irse

El muerto deja al vivo también triste;

Así quedará todo cuando el río

Inevitable vaya murmurando,

Al fondo prodigioso del estío

Todo aquello que ha visto y va quedando

Lejos de sus orillas, cual tardío

Amanecer que siempre está llegando.

 

TAUBENSCHLAG

                                    si el hombre pudiera levantar su amor por el cielo                                           como una nube de luz

Luis Cernuda

Todo el misterio viene de la noche

como un sagrado símbolo de magia.

Si pudiera decir que todo es sueño,

atravesar el hondo espejo oscuro

y ver en un instante qué nos falta

ante el alba acechante y sigilosa.

Si yo pudiera alzar mi amor al cielo,

como quien alza un cirio hacia la noche,

y decir con sosiego, ya sin miedo,

llueven sombras al fondo de mis manos.

Si yo pudiera, semejante al día,

despertar y morir entre tus brazos,

gritar mi nombre al cielo que me olvida

y que también yo olvido vanamente.

Si no quedara nada de mi sombra.

Si el oro de los días y las noches

comenzara por fin a sepultarme.

Si pudiera volver sobre mi sombra,

sobre mi propio tiempo si pudiera,

y caminar de nuevo en estas calles

junto al sueño de dios y de los hombres

y ser de nuevo Taubenschlag, el joven.

III – IDOLOS DEL SUEñO

Huid, idolos del sueño, todo acaba

con el alba incesante. Nada queda

de lo que fue: la luz vuelve a la seda,

el instante al instante que lo alaba.

Huid, idolos del sueño, de la danza

de dos cuerpos amados si conjuran

en un beso el umbral del tiempo y juran

la breve imagen, no su semejanza.

Huid, idolos del sueño. Alguien ha puesto

una carta de triunfo entre mis manos.

Huid para siempre o todo sera en vano:

Huid, idolos del sueño. Yo he dispuesto

el azar, la vigilia y las traiciones,

en las que todo amor vierte sus dones.

–  Carlos Pintado –

TRANSLATION TO ENGLISH:

-I – THE WAY THINGS DISAPPEAR OR STAY

I see the water’s delicate transparence

slipping away before my eyes,

the never ending hours, the floating remains,

reflections of a never present,

never forgotten past. I see a melancholy image;

that which so fleetingly remains is going to die

Soon in another place, another time,

Just like the sadness of the dead

survives them when they leave.

That’s the image we will see

when the river inescapably flows

into the prodigious end of summer,

whispering about everything it has seen,

far from its banks, like a late dawn

that’s always, endlessly, coming.

 

II – TAUBENSCHLAG 

All mystery comes from the night

like a sacred symbol of magic.

If I could say that everything’s a dream,

or cross through the dark, bottomless mirror

so in an instant I can see what’s missing

before the silent dawn that lies in wait.

If to the heavens I could raise my love

the way we raise a candle towards the night

and say, fearlessly and calmly,

it’s raining shadows at the bottom of my hands.

If I could wake the way the morning wakes

and die in your arms,

and call my name to the heavens that have forgotten me

and that I have forgotten just as well.

If only of my shadow not a trace were left.

If only the gold of days and nights

had finally began to bury me;

If only I could retrace my shadow’s steps,.

my own time’s steps, if only I could,

to once again walk these streets

together by that dream of God and men,

and once again be Taubenschlag, when young.

 

III – DREAM EIDOLONS

Flee, dream eidolons –everything

comes to an end with the unending dawn.

Nothing is left of what once was: light returns to

the silk,

and the instant to that instant that praises it.

 

Flee, you dream eidolons, from the love dance

of two bodies who, in a kiss,

summon the threshold of time, and swear

by their brief image, not by their own likeness.

 

Flee, dream eidolons. Someone has put

a trump card in my hands.

Forever flee, or everything will have been in vain.

 

Flee, dream eidolons. I am the one who has disposed

chance, wakefulness and betrayals,

the glory of love and of its gifts.

 

-Translation by Carlos Pintado-