My good friend Danielle Cummins has done me a great honor by writing a fantastic article about the both-ancient-and-modern work, Sonata Sopra la Monica.
Originally written in the 17th century by Italian composer Biagio Marini (c. 1597 – 1665), I took this three-line, flashy fireworks of a piece and turned it into a modern hip-hop/rock style art-piece specifically for Dragonas (full version) and String Theory (violin-bass-percussion quartet version). It’s turned into quite an amazing modern composition in its own right! And it’s loads of fun to play! 🙂
“Sonata sopra la Monica” has been brought into our 21st century music ensembles by composer and violinist Sarah Wallin Huff. In the long tradition of the true composition process, Sarah has taken pre-existing material and transformed it into something new. “Sonata sopra” was the pop-music of the Baroque, full of life and vitality. It was the “in thing”. But to modern ears it sounds as if it were from a distant century, and it is! Now, with Sarah’s new composition, the “Sonata sopra” has a new life and still maintains it’s brilliant Italian flare. The new instrumentation includes electric bass and electric guitar, drum set, flugelhorn, and two violins. As Sarah and I are both trained as Baroque violinists, we are able to play the piece in a true Baroque style against the backdrop of a modern rock band creating a collision of time and space. (Danielle Cummins)