Hilda Paredes (1957)

Zuhuy kak (1997)

for cello

  • General information
    • Composition date: 1997
    • Duration: 11 mn
    • Publisher: University of York Music Press
    • Dedication: Rohan de Saram
  • Type
    • Solo (excluding voice) [Cello]
Detailed formation
  • cello

Premiere information

  • Date: 1997

    France, Strasbourg, festival Musique d'aujourd'hui


    Rohan de Saram.


Enregistrement : Rohan de Saram, live, radio SWR, décembre 1998.

Program note

In the Mayan language spoken in the southeastern part of Mexico, ‘Zuhuy Kak’ means ‘new fire’. It refers to those fires that were lit by the Toltecas during the religious ceremonies to prevent the end of the world and to mark the new time cycle every fifty-two years.

In the context of this work for solo cello, it refers to a new approach of rhythmic material taken from Kandyan drumming form Sri Lanka, where its dedicatee has his roots.

The piece is shaped in four well-defined sections where many idiomatic and expressive possibilities are displayed and the virtuoso capabilities of Rohan De Saram and his distinctive sound are explored. For the last part of the piece I transcribed and ‘orchestrated’ rhythmic material, which Rohan had played for me previously on his Kandyan drum. This is a rhythmic composition that dates back to the 1500s, the time of arrival of the Portuguese in Sri Lanka. Many of these rhythms of the time where dance compositions which portrayed different animals. From the many hundreds of pieces, only a handful has survived. I have chosen one that portrays an elephant. In composing Zuhuy Kak, I have expanded and pushed the intrinsic qualities of this rhythmic material into a new composition for cello.

The title refers mostly to this new approach to original musical material from Sri Lanka.

Hilda Paredes.