For millennia, the flute has been utilized as a sacred instrument to evoke both the spirit of humanity and the spirit of God. It is well-observed that the acclaimed Austrian Classical composer, Franz Joseph Haydn, brilliantly utilized the flute in his Credo movements to depict the motion of the Holy Spirit ministering to His people. Ethnomusicologists have noted the breathy timbres of the flute being inspired by the sacredness of humanity's first experience listening to music, which is in the mother's womb hearing her breathe, as well as her heartbeat which is conveyed by the profound rhythmic nuances on the piano.
In Latin American countries, flutes have been purposed by native tribes to transport listeners into the spiritual realm during worship ceremonies and are subsumed as appointed instruments for amelioration, both physically and emotionally - a tool utilized during the earliest forms of music therapy.
The etymology of the word, "Sacre", denotes the dedication or set apart for the service or worship of the Creator. When an entity is sacred, it is considered worthy of spiritual respect or devotion; or inspiring awe and reverence among observers. Sacredness can be applied to the expressions of creativity including ethnic and cultural wonders of the human experience such as music, the arts, relationships, communication, a person's place of origin, and so forth. Philosophically, it is the reverence for a person's identity, purpose, and role. A derivative of the word, "sacre", is "sacrifice", which is one of the greatest actions and attributes of displayed love for another person.
Composers Carlos Fernando Lopez [who performed the piano] and Dr. José Valentino Ruiz [who performed the flute] aimed to create a piece that takes listeners on a sonic journey portraying the human experience; the beauties of cultural diversity, inclusivity, and equity which is (1) musically-observed by the respect, unity, and dialogue between the pianist and flutist, and (2) reflected in the harmonic, rhythmic, and timbral expressivity inspired by the quartal and harmonic traditions of Western European's Impressionism, Afro-Latin American polyrhythmic drumming, and indigenous textural expressions on the flute akin to the Colombian zampoña and Peruvian kena.
In just five minutes and twenty-five seconds, Lopez and Ruiz, provide a chronological road map of the human condition evoking the sacredness and inception of birth to a person's emotional uncovering of the world being both breathtakingly beautiful [hence the breathy flute sound] and turbulent [hence the piano insinuating pain, war, and struggle]. Ultimately, the listener arrives to a halt and an inner destination where s/he realizes that life well-lived requires for humanity to humble themselves and connect with the Creator [evoked with the rubato drone of "eternity" played by the piano and the vocalizations on flute] to plea for restoration for the world. Through the eye’s and ear’s observance of "what IS sacred" such as people's lives, people's identities, people's heritage, and people's hopes and dreams, the person realizes that sacredness is omnipresent and must be preserved, not abolished.
At the end of the composition, Lopez and Ruiz recapitulate the opening theme to posit a question to listeners: "Now that you have heard and seen the sacred things that this world has to offer, how will you respond to preserve the sacredness of humanity?"
In these unprecedented and tumultuous times, with the manifestation of COVID-19 and the breaking point of racial injustice in the world, Lopez's and Ruiz's Classical contemporary composition serves to provide listeners with a piece of music that tugs at the heart of humanity and compels listeners to re-evaluate their understanding of what is sacred, ultimately, to inspire them to proactively protect the sacredness of what it means to be human, to love, to respect, and to celebrate the vast expressions of the Creator's wonder ever so present in our daily lives.
Lignarius is dedicated to the memory of my grandfather, Juan Pulido. It is an album inspired by very personal and intimate experiences and memories. In each piece, the composer intends to picture either a retrospection, a representation, or a re-signification of recent reflections about his childhood, his kids’ childhood, his identity, beliefs, war, and love, among others.
Composition, Production, and mixing: Carlos Fernando López
Performers: Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, José Valentino, Marek Elznic, Laura Lambuley, Michael Hawes, Morena Kalziqi, Manuela López Lambuley, Carlos Fernando López.
Label: L Music - LandL Entertainment, LLC