Soledad translates as “solitude,” but also evokes the “solea,” one of the many (and oldest) dance forms collectively referred to a “flamenco.” I do use elements of various flamenco dance forms in this piece, but they are mostly abstracted such that only a hints of them can be heard in the piece: the alternation of rhythmic groups of threes and twos, the low, rough singing of the cante hondo singers, the general sense of spontaneity and improvisation. Throughout, too, and most importantly, I wanted to create the sense of proudly restrained passion that I see in the faces and bodies of the best flamenco dancers.
The primary instruments of flamenco can be heard in Soledad, as well, but, again, these are suggested rather than made explicit. I hear the flourish of the guitar at the beginning of Soledad, the voice of the singer starting at bar 30, the palmas in bar 43, and the feet of the dancers in bar 56, but those familiar with this style of music may hear additional or different depictions. There is no program, however, and no specific piece in the vast flamenco repertoire is explicitly referenced.