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Cello Suite: Los Visitantes de la Noche, after paintings by Fernando de Szyszlo Premiered on Mar. 18, 2014 in Nashville, TN By Justin Goldsmith The Cello Suite responds to the paintings of the Polish/Peruvian painter Fernando de Szyszlo. Hermetically symbolic, sensuous, primordial, Fernando de Szyszlo’s work often takes the forms of series of paintings on a single subject. Los Visitantes de la Noche takes its inspiration from a collection of paintings, based primarily off the figures in the eponymous triptych. The figures appear singularly in paintings entitled Visitante and several of them appear together in Abolicion de la Muerte. The four visitor figures, framed by light emanating from crude-hewn doors, shape the form of the work and the character of the first four movements. Szyszlo’s painting raises questions about these characters: have they just entered? Are we in this room as well, trapped? After portraits of these four Vistitantes, the fifth movement is their retreat: Abolición de la Muerte, the banishment of death. Here, in these separate paintings, the angle has shifted and de Szyszlo shows the visitors now with a wan light cast upon them, perhaps showing them as only painted stone, perhaps calling them back. The paintings do not seem interesting in answering our questions. The loose narrative that my suite constructs is my own attempt to interpret de Szyszlo’s dream world. Equally, it is my attempt to create a work that evokes similar moods of disquiet and mystery, as a tribute in my own medium of choice to one of my favorite painters. I am grateful to Justin Goldsmith, who first requested the piece and to whom it is dedicated, for his wonderful premiere, along with projections of the paintings with permission of Fernando de Szyszlo at a concert themed around music paired with visual art and poetry.