Christina Viola Oorebeek, composer

Xical (Xicalcoliuhqui) for bass clarinet & live electronics

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Xical is an abbreviation for xicalcoliuhqui "the curved thing on gourd bowls” in Nahuatl, a Mesoamerican language. The precise meaning of the symbol is disputed, but the motive is related to the sea, rain, fertility, life, and the deity Ehecatl Quetzalcoatl. Mesoamerican artists were skilled at creating figure-ground patterns, in which the recessed background mirrors the raised figure.

Xicalcoliuhqui is the most common of these motives, found in friezes decorating pyramids, woven textiles, paintings and other objects. “Xical" for bass clarinet and live electronics has five sections, freely associating musically with the lines and steps of this motive - ascending, descending, backwards and forwards vertically and horizontally - repeating, looping and all connected.

First performance:
Jason Alder, bass clarinet
December 11, 2016
Cafe de Ruimte
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Nieuwe Noten Amsterdam

supported by the Performing Arts Fund, Netherlands