About this work:
The Three Tangos are indicative of my tendency in recent years to compose almost exclusively in vernacular idioms – songs, jazz tunes, surf music, and anachronistic international pop styles – out of a genuine interest in creatively exploring the as-yet-untapped potential of some of the music I grew up with and inspired me, or came to know later but only as a very interested listener.
Cheap Suit was my first tango and existed only as a "lead sheet", i.e. melody and schematic harmonization to be interpreted ad libitum, like a jazz tune, until being further composed specifically for this context. Incognito and Suburbio are both from my current project The Invisible Guy (a real soundtrack for an imaginary spy film), in which they represent solo dance scenes for the protagonist and his former girlfriend respectively. Like Cheap Suit Tango, they have been re-orchestrated, re-arranged, and further composed for this particular suite.
I should add that this suite also exists in a version for quartet plus percussion (1 player), and that any of the three pieces in either version may be performed alone.
Year composed: 2003
Ensemble type: Chamber or Jazz Ensemble, Without Voice:String Quartet
Instrumentation: 2 Violin, 1 Viola, 1 Cello
Instrumentation notes: This can also be done with string quartet plus one percussion, playing cajon, triangle, and a basic drum kit.