6 Pieces for Mariachi Band (2013, rev. 2019)
Composed May 2013, rev. 2019
in six movements
scored for 2 trumpets, 2 violins, vihuela and guitarrón
This sextet in six movements was composed in the summer of 2013 when the composer was 17 years old, after which he had been doing deep study of Mexican mariachi music for several months. The piece, while utilizing the instrumentation of a mariachi band and forms of traditional and regional Mexican music, is entirely an original composition of the composer, with the themes of each movements coming from the composer's own imagination (with the exception of several musical quotes).
The first movement translates to 'Dance of Fire', and a fast paced dance in a straight meter. The 2nd movement is based on the Bolero form, a sort of latin ballad, and one could imagine a singer crooning out the main theme. The third movement is another fast dance that alternates between 3 and 6 feel and is named for a friend of the composers. The 4th movement can be translated to 'downtown' and is a busy piece with interplay between the trumpets and violins. The 5th is based on the traditional 'Ranchera; or 'canción ranchera' form, another form of Mexican ballad about beauty and simplicity. The last movement, a Jarabe Tapatio or 'Mexican Hat Dance' is the final fast paced dance in three distinct sections: a quick first section, a slower, reflective second section and a slightly faster third section which picks back up into the a reprise of the first section and ends brilliantly.