Nostalgic Visions is a composition for piano and live, interactive electroacoustics inspired by a stanza of “Balada de la Placeta” (“Ballad of the Little Square”) from Libro de Poemas by Federico García-Lorca (English translation by Robert Bly):
Se ha llenado de luces mi corazón de seda, de campanas perdidas, de lirios y de abejas. Y yo me iré muy lejos, más allá de esas sierras, más allá de los mares, cerca de las estrellas, para perdirle a Cristo Señor que me devuelva mi alma Antigua de niño, madura de leyendas, con el gorro de plumas y el sable de madera.
My heart of silk is filled with lights, with lost bells, with lilies and bees.I will go very far, farther than those mountains, farther than the oceans, way up near the stars, to ask Christ the Lord to give back to me the soul I had as a child,matured by fairy tales, with its hat of feathers and its wooden sword.
Garcia-Lorca’s text expresses the longing felt by one seeking a return to the innocence of youth. The poem’s dual time streams, the reality of pres- ent day and visions of the past, are expressed musically by the pianist who alternates between playing on the keys and inside the piano. At times present and past are clearly di- vided; other times the lines between them blur, and reminiscence becomes a hopeful yet impossible reality. Nostalgic Visions was commissioned by and is dedicated to pianist Thomas Rosenkranz.