La Guerra de la Dríada (2004)

for 'cello, viola, violin, tenor
By Douglas Boyce

La Guerra de la Dríada is a setting of the eponymous poem by Nobel Laureate Octavio Paz (1914-1998), a central figures of Mexican and Latin American intellectual and literary life of the 20th century. Among his poetic works are: Salamandra, 1958-1961 (1962), Viento entero (1965), and Árbol adentro (1987), His important critical writings include El laberinto de la soledad (1950); Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, o, Las trampas de la fe (1982), and In Search of the Present: Nobel Lecture (1990). This composition re-engages my earlier interests in setting Surrealist poetry. I find the nature of metaphor and imagery in surrealist poetry affords rich opportunities for setting, as it undermines the normative relation of word to thing, leaving us with the usually invisible relations of sound to word to sense. Having said this, the work tends to present the text in a rather traditional manner, and lets the surprising transitions from symbolic set to symbolic set the form of the piece. This work was written for tenor Robert Baker, as a means of revenge for the hours of torture resulting from having adjacent offices. Special thanks must be extended as well to Eddie Estrada, for help in the analysis and pronunciation of the Spanish text.

-program note from the score

Other works by Douglas Boyce:
“Once when father (George Ives) was asked: 'How can you stand it to hear old John Bell (who was the best stonemason in town) bellow off-key the way he does at camp-meetings?' his answer was: 'Old John is a supreme musician. Look into his face and hear the music of the ages. Don't pay too much attention to the sounds. If you do, you may miss the music. You won't get a heroic ride to Heaven on pretty little sounds!'”
--Charles Ives