Clarice Assad


(2022) Canções da America

For String Quartet

Duration: 15 minutes Commissioned by the FRY STREET QUARTET


Canções da America is a collection of song-like movements inspired by chants, dances, and rhythms associated with South American music. A melting pot of cultures consisting of Europeans, immigrants, natives, and people from Africa. This six-movement work embraces fragments of the  Milonga dance, related to the tune of Uruguay, the choro from Brazil, the music of Paraguay, and a movement dedicated to the Argentinian Tango, born in its modern version in Buenos Aires in the early 19th century. Also in the suite is an homage to Andean music, chant-like melodies associated with the regions of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador, and other peoples who lived approximately in the area of the Inca Empire before the Europeans arrived. 


For the first time as a composer, I explore the music of neighboring Brazilian countries – my original homeland – including Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Argentina. The latter was the homeland of composer Claudia Montero, whose passing in early 2021 inspired me to write this work. Montero was an accomplished musician who dedicated her life to creating beautiful pieces of music sparked by Latin American themes. She supported numerous projects to amplify women’s voices in music, and her body of works reinforces the importance of female composers’ voices in today’s world. Canções da America is dedicated to her legacy and Fry Street Quartet.

Article: The Utah Review

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