From Argentina comes this sequence of songs for five female voices and a baritone, and harp. The composer is Pablo Ortiz and the poems are by Sergio Chejfec.

 The poet writes: “The scene that the poems describe is marked by repetition: the meal in solitude, chewing the meat and gnawing the bones, to leave the bones in the sink in the kitchen, and permanent allusions to the physical and moral virtues of fighting roosters, and to the scenery and ambiance of the pits, obviously death. One of the points into which the poems delve is the morphology of the rooster. Do they have a back? What is neck and what is head? The text suggests that it has arms and not wings. The poems are organized as variations on leitmotifs.” 

 And the composer writes: “It is, at the very least, original, in terms of subject matter! I find that the almost obsessive, repetitive quality of the poems brings about different grey tonalities, with more or less luminescence (the harp, the high voices) and the occasional opaque moment.”

Pablo Ortiz is Ars Nova’s composer in residence for the 2012-13 season. Gallos y huesos will be recorded in February to complete a CD of his music begun last year with his Notker and Five Motets. He is Professor of Music at the University of California at Davis, and a specialist on the tango – as some of his music reveals.

Sergio Chejfec lives in New York City and his novels have been compared to the work of German writer W. G. Sebald. You can read more about him here.