for twelve players
(2002, rev. 2009)

Adelina was originally for flute, cello and piano, written in the winter of 1999 for the Élan trio (now the International Contemporary Ensemble) just a few days after I finished the performance of my epic-length ambient opera, Advent Days. Like Advent Days, the music I was writing at that time relied heavily on dense polyphonic webs of pan-harmony, repetition, a strong sense of pulse and half improvised /half composed charts (of what has been coined as "rocketmusic") to create what John Adams calls "great prairies of non-event." Since then, I have moved away from the translucent and transient sounds of minimalism and have begun working with more complex rhythmic textures; this had a profound effect on the way in which I decided to re-work this piece.

adelina is a process piece made up of constantly expanding and contracting 12-note additive patterns in the pianos. While on the surface, the music seems to be only shimmering ripples of arpeggios, the process sets up the entire rhythmic and pitch structure of the piece, where the other instruments are, in a sense, constrained by the implied structure. When I eventually got around to re-scoring the piece, I found that the original work was hastily put together, though the ideas of a complete work were lying there undeveloped. The possibility of simply re-orchestrating what I had was not going to work. Here, adelina takes on a new life: to borrow a term from electronic music, it is a realization of the original, possibly even a completely new piece.

The title of this work is taken from the poem Adelina de Paseo from Federico Garcia Lorca's Canciones. The english translation is as follows:

The sea has no oranges
nor Seville any love. 
Dark girl, such firey light! 
Lend me your parasol. 
It will turn my face green
- juice of lemon and lime. 
Your words little fish- 
will swim about. 
The sea has no oranges. 
Oh the pity, love. 
Nor Seville any love!

Vincent Calianno
May 2002


Flute, Oboe (also plays 3 Triangles), Alto Saxophone (also plays Bell Tree), 2 Percussion (I. Crotales, Glockenspiel, Vibraphone; II. Vibraphone, Woodblock), Electric Organ (or Accordion), 2 Pianos, 2 Violas, 2 Violoncelli


12 Minutes


10 May 2002
Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble
Steve Brewer – Conductor
Finney Chapel — Oberlin, Ohio