Ecaleras. One of my piano pieces.

1st edition of piano pieces. Cover design by F. Barceló Blanco-Steger
I've always felt comfortable writing piano music. Since it was my instrument, as a teenager, I composed my first easy piano pieces, guided only by my instinct without having any knowledge of composition techniques. Years later, studying at the Higher Royal Conservatory of Music in Madrid, I had the honor to participate in a concert tribute to the Spanish composer Antón García-Abril. It was a really excited experience that I will never forget, it was my first assignment as a composer.

Composing a piece as a homage is complicated, the obvious question is: how should I raise the tribute? The most obvious answer may be to compose a piece that includes a musical quote. This has been done countless times and is very useful if you know how to do it in an interesting way, but there are also more options such as reworking material or composing a piece based only on the character of his music. In my case, after studying and listening to many of García-Abril's works, I decided to make a personal work but to include a gesture proper to his music, a gesture that is practically the motive for many of his works. It is a gesture with infinite possibilities that consists of a series of third steps (That is why the name of the piece: “Ecaleras” that means “Stairs”). You can can see this kind of gesture in this excerpt from my piece:

 "Escaleras" has a ternary form, ABA type, which links to the very concept of thirds that appears in th

e melody. There are a few things that appear during the work:

  • The homophonic texture in different levels, and 
  • The use of the contrary motion as a mirror between right and left hand.

The first part begins from an D flat followed by the musical gesture of thirds chained that develops and lengthens for creating more and more tension, especially with the appearance of a third high voice that, playing with the same gesture, reinforces the content and making the richer texture. Finally, the section closes in C, relaxing a little bit the tension.

The second part is an evolution in several aspects of the first one: The harmony expands using chords made by fourths, then becomes more rhythmic but heavy as well because of the use of complex harmonies by contrary motion. All these things make this part more dramatic.

Progressively, the motif from the beginning appears between the chords, and it becomes more and more present until it ends up to impose itself with a brief re-exposition and closing the piece in D flat.

Although It is not a tonal work, “Escaleras”, like almost all my works, resort to the use of reference notes as part of my concept of return, a wide idea that does not only refer to form, or to a certain tone, but to a set of things that makes music understandable to any listener and that plays with our musical memory.

Here you can watch a video of my YouTube channel with the recording of "Escaleras"
I hope you like it!