Sonetos [2007]

Currently a pair of pieces inspired by two sonnets from Neruda's Cien sonetos de amor, these are my first pieces for solo guitar. In both pieces, I incorporated the original speech rhythms of each piece's respective sonnet, though they are treated differently in each.

In No te amo como si fueras, the speech rhythms are transformed into a recitative to convey the simple intimacy of Neruda's beloved sonnet. But the poem also presents strange and unexpected images and metaphors—a "salt rose," "certain dark things," "a plant that doesn't flower"—and the harmonies and melodies are both intimate and alienated to capture the dual nature of the poem.

Es hoy: todo el ayer se fue cayendo is a luminous and ecstatic poem. In this quality I saw a sense of sensuousness but also disorientation—the poem describes a present moment that radically recasts if not destroys the sense of future or past, the timelessness "now" and luminosity of ecstasy. The piece casts the speech rhythms in cascading arpeggios to portray the overabundance and sensuousness of Neruda's poem.


Lynn McGrath , gtr. ; Lima, Peru (March 2008)

score: No te amo | score: Es hoy