(2011) for guitar and electronics, 18’
instrumentation: amplified acoustic classical guitar + fixed media audio playback
Citlaltepetl Vertex (2011) for guitar, mountaineering sounds and electro-acoustics was composed for virtuosic guitarist and mountaineer, Colin McAlister. In 2011 Colin climbed Citlaltepetl (Pico de Orizaba) in Mexico, the tallest mountain in Mexico and the second tallest volcano in the world. He and his team ascended the mountain carrying my recording equipment to document the adventure. The untreated real- time mountaineering sounds are woven into the electronics of the composition. We hear footsteps on snow and rock, voices, the movement of equipment such as harnesses, rope and axes, and the numbing blasts of sub-zero wind. The mountaineering sounds and the acoustic guitar each have an analog in the electro-acoustic part. The noise sounds of the mountaineering adventure surface from a noise texture created from 200 noise generators, as if the adventure were a meeting point or vertex within a larger field of potential paths. The acoustic guitar part is supported by a minimal harmonic/rhythmic framework, that creates grid-like patterns the guitar climbs, as if reaching for the summit (In Latin, "vertex" means the summit or highest point).
Citlaltepetl Vertex (2011)
Performance materials include a PDF score and electronic backing track.