for choir and computer




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1st movement: LA TRAMA

2nd movement: LA CIFRA (The Number) (play)

3rd movement: LA TRAMA SECRETA

The texts in La Trama are loosely based on a book of poems ‘La Cifra’ by Jorge Luis Borges.

I took words and phrases from different poems and combined them to make my own texts. This was possible because the general themes and ideas in ‘La cifra’ are present in most of the poems. The music follows the spirit of the texts in different ways.

The 1st movement “La Trama” (The Thread) looks at the thread that appear to connects our actions in our lives and makes the world to appear logical, perhaps even inevitable.Here, the polyphonic ‘threads’ or lines are melismatic and complex but suggest a single unified surface.

The 2nd movement “La Cifra y el Caos” (the Number and Chaos) refers to the limited fixed numbers of steps that each person is given to tread in a lifetime and the presence of chaos at every turn The ‘number of our steps’ is represented by a simple rhythms with a clear pulse, beginning and end. The narrative of this movement consists of the changes in direction and step that occur to this initially simple pulse and its occasional transformation into a chaotic state.

The 3rd movement “La Trama Secreta” (The Secret Thread) suggests a hidden ‘thread’ behind any apparent logical one. Perhaps there are infinite layers behind any surface layer. Borges tends to present this as a labyrinth.
Unlike what happens in the 1st movement, here there are always polyphonic layers subjacent to any single layer that may emerge at the surface. The computer itself contributes to the creation of further layers of polyphony by deconstructing the harmonic spectra of the voices and launching them into independent trajectories.
Also present in this movement is the idea of a polyphony of uncertain tempo. The melodic phrases give the impression of unfolding at different speeds. The computer part contributes to this structure by playing versions of the theme which are actually accelerating or decelerating so that the rhythmic values are irrational with regards to the overall tempo of the score.
was interested in creating a polyphony reminiscent of the Flemish school of counterpoint but combining it with the rhythmic ideas of Conlon Nancarrow which can only be fully explored with the aid of computers.

In spite of the connection to Borges’ poetry, La Trama may be listened to as pure music without any regard for the text and its metaphysical implications.