Fred Frith


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Performed by the ensemble Eva Kant (named after a 1960s comic strip heroine, and originally an improvising ensemble), Pacifica is a composition in three parts for a large, unusual ensemble (including prepared guitars, a performer on records/CDs/tapes, three percussionists, single winds, brass, saxes, and vocalist). The primary text is from writings of Pablo Neruda ("Soneto IX" [Sonnet IX] and excerpts from the "Cien sonetos de amor" [100 Love Sonnets]) recorded by Sergio Meza. In the first part there are also fragments of text from the Death Song of the CupeƱo native tribe of California, and the tribal names of all the original inhabitants of California are recited in the middle section. Much of the evocative and gentle music is underscored by simple patterns in a steady, laid-back pulse, with unusual sustained single sounds and brief melodic phrases on other instruments, as well as occasional sound effects of water and other environmental tones appearing above that pulse. The voice lightly speaks within this context: "Cuando yo muera guiero tus manos en mis ojos (When I die I want your hands on my eyes)...Quiero que lo que amo siga vivo (I want what I love to go on living)." The listener is transported in spirit to the forested, coastal regions of the Pacifica area of long ago, or, in the present, outside of the cities. The final cadence is a repeated pattern slowly fading out to infinite silence and distance.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 46:22
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