Written for the Devon Philharmonic Orchestra and first performed at Exeter Cathedral on the 1st April 2017 by the orchestra, conducted by the composer.
3 (picc.), 3(cor.), 3(Eb cl.), b.cl., 2, c.bsn | 4,3,3,1. | timp, 3 perc. | pno, hp | strings
The word 'Aruanda' derives from the word 'Luanda', the capital city of Angola, Africa. The city became the centre of the slave trade from Africa to Brazil, so for many people, Luanda was the last vision of home, and the last taste of freedom. For generations, slaves held on to Luanda's memory, and passed it down to their children, and over time, Luanda evolved into Aruanda; a hope, a dream, a heaven.
Aruanda is now referred to as a spiritual place with differing meanings across a number of mostly Brazilian religions such as Umbanda, and has manifested itself throughout Brazilian culture, art and music. Perhaps its most familiar iteration is in Astrud Gilberto's song "Take me to Aruanda", a song which epitomises my love for Latin Jazz. Though I live and breathe classical music in my working life, over the years, Latin Jazz has become my escape, comfort and joy. It resonates very strongly within me, and so for me, Aruanda is Latin Jazz.
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1st April 2017 - Devon Philharmonic Orchestra