1981 TOQUE POR LA TIERRA VACIA for 2 guitars

TOQUE POR LA TIERRA VACÍA (1981) for two guitars was written at the request of two young and enthusiastic musicians in Amsterdam, keen to explore new avenues in guitar music. I am not a guitar player myself and equipped with only a token affinity with the instrument. It took some considerable time and hard work to familiarize with its idiosyncrasies, whilst experimenting with various techniques and listening to a wide range of guitar music. It turned out I felt mostly at home in the flamenco style, but was also driven to explore a host of other areas which would open a new sound world that I believed was potentially there, inside the instrument.

The work ultimately turned into a tapestry of ‘soundscapes’, each devoted to a distinct, stylistic or technical mode of sound production. Sound, the colouring, mixing, varying and movement of sound, are thus the subject matter of Toque. Both guitars are each other’s complement and usually merge into one big resonating box. Even their quartertone tuning is complementary.

Toque por la tierra vacía was premiered by Hugo Rompa and Kees Zonneveld, for whom it was written in the first place. It enjoyed a come-back when the Paris based guitar duo Caroline Delume and Wim Hoogewerf took it into their repertoire.