Tango de Manchachicoj
Year of composition
Tango de Manchachicoj is my ode to Argentine nuevo tango. Several years ago, I met the Argentine composer and bandoneonist J.P. Jofre when he performed with the Gabriel Chamber Ensemble, and he introduced me to the incredible works of Astor Piazzolla and to his own beautifully expressive music.
Manchachicoj is a figure from northwestern Argentine folklore. The son of a demon and a witch, he is described as small and goblin-like yet strangely elegant and seductive. This piece imagines this creature scampering through the night, causing mischief, and trying to win the hearts of humans. The time signature is a lopsided 4/4 + 3/4 instead of the traditional tango 2/4 or 4/4. Much of the piece is functions like a passacaglia in which the viola and cello repeat Manchachicoj's motif while the violins chase each other about.
Tango was recorded at the Interlochen Public Radio Station by Tiffany Chang and Christophe Koenig, violins, Mikel Rollet, viola, and Bence Temesvári, cello.
The piece was premiered in concert by the Gabriel Chamber Ensemble, December 2016, Schuylkill Haven, PA.