I love singing in small chamber ensembles. For many years as a singer of early music I performed one-on-a-part the polyphony of the middle ages and the renaissance in acoustically mind-boggling romanesque churches in Spain and France. As a trio or quartet (Trio LiveOak and LiveOak and Company), we sounded like a chorus in what was sometimes a five second reverberation (Sant Joan de les Abadesses in Catalunya, for instance). Flutes and cornettos, bowed and plucked strings added swirling harmonics in the space that one cannot imagine without experiencing it live. The 2011 recording Gyre Spotlight Series I: Spanish features a quartet performance in Mexico of Frank Wallace’s setting of Lorca’s poem Epitafio a un Pájaro. Written for mezzosoprano, flute and two guitars, the piece has those ear-changing performances woven into it. The poetry is sublime. We loved recording and performing it with Nury Ulate, flute and David Mozqueda, guitar. The video below by Pablo Garibay captures the experience:
VIDEO: Nancy Knowles, mezzosoprano and composer/guitarist Frank Wallace recording Wallace’s composition Epitafio a un Pájaro with guest artists Nury Ulate, flute and David Mozqueda, guitar. Recording in the chapel of the Rancho San Miguel Zacango (Toluca, Mexico) by Pablo Garibay, filming and photography by Mateo Barreiro. Includes footage of the concert that night at the Cuerdas y Canto Festival. Music by Frank Wallace, text by Federico García Lorca.