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Gene Young's "Thirty-Five Mescals In Cuautla" is a setting of Malcolm Lowry's (1909-1957) autobiographical verse that is derived from his towering novel, "Under The Volcano" (1947). All the performers are severely challenged technically and pushed to emotional extremes in this often violent, often desolate musical landscape.
The text is delivered by a female voice, at once declamatory and revealing. Trills, glissandi, extended range, and extreme dynamics elicit a nightmarish depiction of a tormented, alcoholic mind. The virtuosic trumpet part serves as counterpoint to Lowry's horrific vision. Metallic percussion underline the harsh, hallucinatory images found in the drink-infused perception of an addict.
As Death descends upon the poet, an ancient Aztec legend is relayed as the trumpet renders a mournful Mexican folk song off stage. The song tells of a vision referred to as "The Weeping Woman", seen at day break and purportedly warning of impending tragedy.
- soprano voice, trumpet in C and percussion
- Malcolm Lowry
- Editions Bim