Once I received a commission for composing a piece for the Carlos Chavez Symphony Orchestra, I decided to pay homage to the great Mexican composer after whom the orchestra was named by writing a contemporary version of nationalistic music.
To achieve this, I asked myself what my ultimate expression of nationalism was, and concluded that witnessing the Mexican soccer team winning an important match was such a moment for me.
So I chose the biggest achievement in history of Mexican soccer as the main theme for my piece, the winning of the FIFA Confederation Cup against Brazil in Mexico City in 1999.
I downloaded the match report and assigned the woodwinds as the Mexican players, the brass as the Brazilians, the percussion as the bench, the strings as the audience, the harp and piano as the coaches, and the conductor as the referee. Afterwards I drew a chart containing the most relevant moments of the game, such as the scoring of the goals, the replacement of players, the drawing of yellow cards, and of course the fouled-out Brazilian defender played by the bass trombone, whom the conductor is supposed to warn with the yellow card before throwing him off stage with the red card, near the end of the match.
The musical themes are based on both Mexican and Brazilian folk music ostinatos, as well as in very-well-known-by-every-Mexican courses and chants that occur in soccer stadiums throughout the country, e.g. “La mentada”, “El lero-lero” & “El Q-lero”.
These musical items are truly popular themes that you can hear not only in stadiums, but also in every traffic jam, quarrel and demonstration occurred in Mexico; hence they are nationalistic and contemporary in nature.
For the Antagónica recording I summoned the most pretigious musicians in Mexico City to record their parts separately. Afterwards, I edited and mixed everything on the computer.
The result is a dream-team symphony orchestra that I shall name the Silvestre Revueltas Virtual Symphony Orchestra, to complete my homage to the Mexican national composition school.