This piece is dedicated to my grandmother Griselda Cam. It draws inspiration from the idea of "mestizaje," as envisioned by the Peruvian writer Jose María Arguedas, whereby cultures can co-exist without the subjugation of one by the other. In such a spirit, Sonata Andina para piano solo mixes elements from the western classical and Andean folk music traditions. "Allegro Aymara" suggests drums from Bolivia (such as the large TAMBOR, the medium WUANKARA, and the smaller TINYA) and flutes (such as the PINKILLO, made of thick jungle reed, and the less typical TARKA, a heavy wooden end-blown duct flute that produces a hoarse overblown tone). "Himno Inca" mimics an ensemble style common to the Andes where a number of players stand around in a semi-circle with panpipes known as ZAMPOÑAS that each have a constricted range of notes which may be preceded, accompanied, and followed by brief percussion. "Adagio Illariy" presents another typical flute, the QUENA. The title refers to the dawn light which outlines the edge of the planet as it curves out of sight just before the sun appears. The Finale Saqsampillo, written in homage to Alberto Ginastera, is a dance that features "warrior devils" or jungle dwellers considered savages. Instruments imitated are two kinds of guitars (the six-stringed Spanish version and the CHARANGO, a higher-pitched ten-stringed instrument made out of an armadillo shell), the ZAMPOÑA flutes, and the MARIMBA.
Gabriela Lena Frank