• Bryce Dessner
  • El Chan (2016)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by Britten Sinfonia and Wigmore Hall

  • pfvn.va.vc
  • two pianos
  • 16 min

Programme Note

This piece was composed as a gift for my friend and collaborator Alejandro González Iñárritu and his wife Maria Eladia Hagerman while staying at their house in San Miguel Allende Mexico in January 2016. Nestled in the canyons outside San Miguel, ‘El Charco del Ingenio' is a pool of water which has been the source of popular legends for many centuries, as well as the primary source of water in the area. ‘El Chan’ is its guardian spirit, a mythic being from the underworld who dwells in the mysterious waters and shows its terrible powers to those daring to approach. The pool changes colors throughout the year and is fed by a spring which is one of the last sources of natural water in the area. My piece was inspired by the natural beauty of Alejandro’s hometown and the lurking power of nature in this serene landscape.

Programme note by Bryce Dessner