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Colombian Rhythms and Baroque Flute and Harpsichord

Welcome to another issue of Meet the Composer Blog!

I had the privilege to meet Carmen Liliana while living in Boston, Massachusetts. Carmen Liliana is just as you see her in this head shot of her always smiling and at the same time finding new ways to share her talents with friends and new audiences. When thinking of artists to collaborate for the conception of such an important project for us as the “Queen Guinevere’s Tale” is, I could not think of a composer more fitting to join us in this journey.

Carmen Liliana Marulanda (b. Bogotá 1976) is a Colombian composer, flutist and music teacher who has worked in some of the most challenging areas of musical pedagogy, such as the Batuta orchestral program for refugee children on the outskirts of Bogotá, in the early 2000's, where she created sets of pieces adapted to their very special requirements. Her artistic and professional life express the deep influence of Colombia's rich traditions; her goals were shaped by the formidable requirements of teaching in Latin America today.

After earning a degree in Music Teaching from the Pedagogical University of Colombia, composing and teaching flute in several local institutions, she began work on a creative project she is still expanding and perfecting today, after nearly a decade in the US; a venture mainly devoted to creating and publishing original, innovative technical texts for teachers and students, in a collection of progressive methods she composed, based on Latin American genres.

The driving goal in her work as a composer, teacher and publisher has been to maximize the use and diffusion of traditional Latin American rhythms, melodies and musical structures, to increase the effectiveness of practice and the pleasure of performing music differently.

Carmen Marulanda has taught workshops throughout the US in various Flute conventions and festivals, garnering the most enthusiastic feedback for her pedagogical publications from many in the teaching community. She also holds a Master's degree in Musical Therapy from the University of Barcelona, Spain.

Guinevere’s Journey by Carmen Liliana Marulanda

Readings from other times and places, feelings, thoughts... remembering sounds from distant yet familiar cultures and mythologies, immersion in a world of musical dreams....

In this piece I chose to create a narrative using traditional forms of Colombian music, expanding the language which is typically set in closed forms, like songs, to develop a broader formal grammar, like a long view which can evolve freely, flowing from one genre to another.

There is a great connection between the traditional genres of Colombian music and the Baroque period in Europe and the Americas. The rhythmic aspects of baroque music are quite similar in the traditional forms of the Colombian Andes, and the plucked strings of the traditional ensembles (bandola, tiple and guitar), picked or strummed, remind us of the harpsichords and the lutes.

The instrumental setting is ideal, therefore, to create that magical transposition across time, to imagine a musical tale using the connections between my own language rooted in Colombian music and

something as mythical as the traverso and harpsichord duo. The piece evolves from traditional forms, well infused in the collective Andean musical memory, towards the exploration of freedom: hesitation, meditation, remembrance, discovery. These adventures bring new light to the original starting

point once the circle closes back on itself at a totally different level of understanding, free from the original, formal constraints of the past.

For more information on Carmen Liliana’s work please visit her website

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