One of the several projects that I’m involved in is the incredible Misa Azteca!
Misa Azteca is a staged, concert piece for orchestra, choir, soloists and pre-Columbian percussion ensemble. It is based on the “ordinary” and “proper” of the Roman Catholic High Mass and verses from the Cantares Mexicanos, a collection pre and post conquest verse of the Mexica (the Aztecs). Misa Azteca is sung in Latin, Spanish and Nahuatle.
It has already been performed at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, CECUT (Centro Cultural Tijuana), Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Apollo Theater (in Greece).
I first listened to parts of this concert piece three years ago and was so moved that I become obsessed with it and wanted to promote it so everyone could hear it! Now, I’m good friends with the composer and his wife and am honored to help them in sharing this beautiful piece of music that honors Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Mass.
Composer, Joseph Julian Gonzalez shares about the unity in Misa Azteca: “By blending Latin and Aztec texts, as well as the various rhythms, instrumentation, and tone unique to both, this concert piece resolves the tensions commonly associated with two seemingly irreconcilable cultures. The theme of complementarity that overrides the assumption that these two worlds must remain disparate, binds everyone in the mutual quest for unity and peace.”
Gonzalez explains the text: “As an example, I hand-picked verses from post-Columbian Aztec verse (once again, from the Cantares Mexicanos) that I believe have a similar theme relevant to the sections of the ordinary and proper of the Mass. For example in the Gradual, the soprano implores in Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs) “May I never die! May I never perish! Let me go where one does not die.” This wail of grief is answered by the choir peacefully singing the prayer from the All Saints Day mass, “The souls of the just are in the hand of God…in the sight of the unwise they seemed to die, but they are in peace”.
This is a big week for Misa Azteca with 3-4 meetings within the next two days for international performances as well as working on a promo video.