Louie Madrid Calleja, BFA (York), MA (York)
Composer, Conductor, Scholar

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Carmen Noctis
("Songs of the Night")
 

At the descent of darkness, from its lair creativity arises. With the absence of light we find ourselves at our most vulnerable, most naked state. Alone with our thoughts, it is at this time that our true selves are revealed unfettered by the masks worn during the waking hours. Music is the supreme artform. Unhindered by words, it touches the soul in the most direct way with as many interpretations as there are individuals.

Music is everywhere. The tick of a clock, the click of heels on pavement, the hum of a car engine, the rhythms and melodies in the realm of sight and sound perform for us every day. Specifically, music is energy, and a composition is a current that flows from the composer to the page to the musician to the performance to the audience and back again. It’s symbiotic communication.
Below are live recorded samples of my work. Click on the player to listen.
(To obtain perusal scores for any or all of the works below, please click on the "Contact" tab on the left and send me a message.)
Wind Symphony Works

Scherzo – “joke”(as in the scoffing sarcastic type, not the jovial).

It is an exploration of aggression that remains unspoken and intensifies over time as a result of clinging to a series of ideas and views that is contrary to how ultimate reality is. The piece can be viewed as the physical manifestation of that aggression or as images created by papańca (Pali, “mental proliferation").

It’s structure is a fugato in fantasia form and is unified by two ideas – an ascending eighth-note motif of the opening fanfare and the first three notes of the fugatto subject.

Performed by the Northdale Concert Band conducted by Prof. Stephen Chenette.


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It is a piece composed not only mourn and honour the dead but would also console and comfort the living...to serve as a reminder that although the loss of someone can be a painful one, death should not be viewed as an end but as a beginning.

It is unified by two elements:

1. A three-note topos (Ab-G-D in measure 2), and
2. The Introitus of the Requiem Mass (taken directly from the Liber Usualis) - the phrase "Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine" (Eternal rest grant unto them, oh Lord) is indicated in the score.

The piece opens with a canon that leads to a short lament. A fantasia dominates the middle part of the piece with a fragment of the chant. The full chant is heard in the trumpets against a running counter-melody in the bass. At the final section the topos is transformed thereby giving the piece a feeling of hope - redemption from the dark feeling of loss.

Commissioned and performed by the Northdale Concert Band conducted by Dr. Gillian MacKay.


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It is a letter in sound and the piece that defined the term: "Eternal Feminine."

"Perhaps the closest synonym for this term would be 'the ideal.' For every man or woman there is one person that completes the pair, one who is perfect, hidden, and revealed only at the right time by an unseen omnipotent force. The Eternal Feminine - sometimes she is one, sometimes she is many; her many traits found in one, the one trait found in many..."

The piece was premiered and commissioned by the Hart House Symphonic Band under the direction of Keith Reid.

Performed by the Silverthorn Symphonic Winds and the massed band of the Canadian Band Association Ontario Chapter 2012. Conducted by Louie Madrid Calleja.


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The piece was conceived as a result of a recurring nightmare sparked by personal events that occurred in the Spring of 2004. It is a story of a traveler who undergoes a journey into his personal Hell in search of redemption. In this journey he discovers that who he thought was the source of his joy has become the cause of his pain.

Performed by the Northdale Concert Band conducted by Prof. Stephen Chenette.


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This piece is an exploration of grief associated with separation - of the emotion, of the tension, of acceptance. It is a funeral march.

It is a polyphonic work unified by a 5-bar melody (first stated in the tubas) that serves as a "cantus firmus."

Performed by the Northdale Concert Band conducted by Joseph Resendes.


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The piece was composed in 1994 (revised in January of 2014) as a going-away present for a close friend and her family.

The piece is structured as an arch-form and unified by two ideas - the opening tuba motif and a flowing 8-measure melody.

Performed by the Festival Wind Orchestra conducted by Louie Madrid Calleja.


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Choral/Vocal Works


Originally scored for solo tenor and organ, it was re-worked in 2011 at the request of Aleksandra Topor for the Puellae Orantes Cathedral Girls' Choir from Tarnów, Poland (www.puellaeorantes.pl).

It was recorded in the summer of that year and premiered at Nowy Wiśnicz Castle on September 6, 2012.

Performed by the Puellae Orantes Cathedral Girls' Choir with Aleksandra Topor (soprano), the AIRIS String Quartet, with Fr. Władysław Pachota conducting.

Recording posted with permission.


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Piano Works

A "soliloquy" for solo piano. It is two light variations on a 14-measure theme. The second variation makes use of light "tintinabuli." It was completed in 3 hours.

Performed by Louie Madrid Calleja (solo piano).


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It is a "soliloquy" for solo piano. The title suggests everything. It was started late evening of January 20 2012 and completed in the early hours of the 21st. It is unified by a 6-bar chord progression.

Performed by Louie Madrid Calleja (solo piano).


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Chamber Works

Written while I was still a student of the late avant-garde-ist James Tenney, it was the result of a last-minute call to create short pieces for Toronto's Continuum Ensemble visiting York University. It explores mirror writing and dissonant counterpoint. This piece was revised and retitled "Getting Water at Grandfather's Farm" and used as an example in one of the chapter of my Master's thesis, "Approaches to Counterpoint" (2001).

Performed by the Continuum Ensemble (Toronto).


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For 2 alto saxophones and 1 tenor saxophone. It was composed in 1995 as a request by a saxophone instructor at York University. It was completed one week later and performed during the second semester.

It is in the form of a French overture (slow-fast-slow) - the first part is a nostalgic and lamenting chorale reminiscent of 16th century music (with some clusters); the second part is a "danse macabre" in 10/8 meter that makes use of a repeating "organum" sounding rhythmic figure. The opening chorale (shortened) is recapitulated to conclude the piece.

Performed by:
Bill O'Brien (alto saxophone)
Dana Kimpel (alto saxophone)
Sandra Ignaciuk (tenor saxophone)


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A piece for flute and piano written for a colleague in the mid-1990s, it represents a style of modal writing that is consistent in my compositions. The piece is unified by an open-fifth drone in the piano ritornello.

Performed by:
Raven Wong (flute)
Heather Wilton (piano)

This site created and maintained by Louie M. Calleja
Last updated August 3, 2015