Javier Otero is one of the best pianists I know. I admire his wide spectrum of precise movements to achieve the desired sounds on the instrument. We have played duets for several years, and it is always a deep inspiration for me (usually associated with a challenge!) To prepare a program with him.
The “Variations Hemiónes” are written taking as a starting point the third piece of Camille Saint-Säens’ famous suite “The Carnival of the Animals”. Javier Otero and I had the opportunity to play a large part of the suite at the Piano Meeting that Javier hosts in Ourense, in its 2018 edition. On that occasion we decided to open sections of the work to improvise, already seeking a casual approach. For this version I thought of keeping the “bachian” harmonic progression intact and altering, heavily, the rhythmic groups of the original (written in 4/4). I explored a range of irregular rhythmic groups seeking to create an exotic sensation with which the exciting character of the piece was not lost. Thus two dynamic differenciated planes are achieve by these rare accents. The new time meters are, in order: 20/16, 18/16, 22/16, 20/16, 14/16, 18/16, and 12/16.
Once I had this new rhythmic platform, I composed variants over the same rhythms already altered, and I left room for Javier to compose his. He prepared 3 variations that are pure fantasy!
I can’t wait for us to play this live…