Cuicani, by Mario Lavista
The year 2013 marked the seventieth birthday of Mario Lavista (b. 1943), arguably the most celebrated living composer and intellectual in his native country of Mexico. Lavista tours frequently throughout the Americas and Europe as a lecturer, and has served on the faculties of the University of Wisconsin, the University of California at Santa Barbara, the University of Chicago and Indiana University. Currently, he teaches music at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Mexico City.
Lavista’s collaboration with musicians such as clarinetist Luis Humberto Ramos and flutist Marielena Arizpe resulted in a unique understanding of new possibilities and, to the benefit of future performers, excellent fingerings for each desired effect. Furthermore, these pieces stretched the limitations of musicians and created fresh, new sonorities that would inspire future generations of composers.
Mario Lavista’s Cuicani (1985) for flute and B-flat clarinet, written in one continuous movement, explores a variety of extended techniques such as multiphonics, microtones, harmonics and timbral fingerings. Also, Lavista exploits the unique combination tones available in this instrumentation with simultaneous extended techniques. The title, Cuicani, means “Singer” in Nahuatl, a language spoken in Central America originating from that of the Aztecs.
Recording Date: March 30, 2013
Recording Location: Music Center Recital Hall, Concordia University, Nebraska
Ensemble Type: Flute and Bb Clarinet
Performers: Christopher Nichols, clarinet, and Mary-Elizabeth Thompson, flute
About the Music
Composer: Mario Lavista
Instrumentation: Flute and Bb Clarinet
Date Composed: 1985
Christopher Nichols currently serves as Assistant Professor of Clarinet at the University of Delaware. He enjoys a diverse career with frequent performances of traditional and contemporary solo, chamber music, wind band, and orchestral literature throughout the United States and Europe.