Instrumentation: Eb Alto / Eb Baritone Saxophone and Electronics (quadraphonic)

Duration: a.c. 9 minutes

Year of composition: 2013

Premiere: November 25, 2013.

Guillermo Martínez (Saxos) and Javier Campaña (Electronics) [Ensemble Taller Sonoro].

XI Spanish Music Festival of Cádiz. Auditorium of the Royal Professional Conservatory of Music “Manuel de Falla” of Cádiz

Commission: Junta de Andalucía (Manuel de Falla Chair)

Program notes:

This piece is the second in a project of pieces dedicated to solo instruments with / without electronics. In all of them there are several links in common: one of them is working with the interpreter to search for new sound possibilities; another to the mosaic technique as the creation of a combination of different cells (“tiles”) or materials.

ITACA is inspired by Homer’s Odyssey. As in it, this work is structured in three sections, which in the case of our piece coincide with three sound spaces. Between these spaces, the sax will make a series of journeys where the concept of mosaic will have its maximum exponent when the interpreter himself elaborates the sound discourse of these journeys with the choice of different materials that have been proposed by the composer. In the piece there are moments of intertextuality such as in the recitation of the interpreter of several fragments of the homonymous poem of the Alexandrian poet Konstantinos Kaváfis, or the use in electronics of the text and melody of the Epitaph of Seikilos.


The electronics are based on previously recorded materials from the saxophone and electronically transformed, creating different atmospheres at different times in the piece. The spatialization of both the electronics and the saxophone itself will have a great weight in this work since the starting idea is to establish an immersive character of the music.

The work of the timbre, as well as the use of the instrumental possibilities around it, will be the “leitmotif” of the work, which will produce an organic body in continuous movement, in such a way that in many moments the sax will merge with the electronics and vice versa.