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Take a deeper dive into specific pieces of music and composers with Classical KC and the UMKC Conservatory while learning how they connect to events today.

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble brings the music of Carolina Heredia to Kansas City

Composer, violinist and educator Carolina Heredia.
Courtesy of artist
Courtesy of artists
Composer, violinist and educator Carolina Heredia.

Carolina Heredia's "Ius in bello" explores the interaction between Venezuelan police and protestors during civil unrest in 2004. As part of UMKC Conservatory's América Festival, hear the Mizzou New Music Ensemble perform this work.

Jared Agee & Evelynn Esquivel are students at the UMKC Conservatory.

“Ius in bello” is Latin for “Law of War.” This ancient set of rules aimed to minimize the negative impact of armed conflict, and acts as the main idea of Carolina Heredia's piece of the same name.

Carolina Heredia is an Argentinian composer, violinist, and educator. Along with compositions of intermedia music, she also collaborates with multimedia art, such as electronics, video, fixed media, and dance.

Her musical background includes influences from Western classical, electronic, Argentinian folk, and Argentinian tango music. Carolina holds a Doctorate in Music Composition and was a research fellow for the Institute of Humanities at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Missouri before being appointed as Assistant Professor in Music Composition. Heredia is also director of artist support for the American Composers Forum.

Heredia’s compositions have been performed in the United States, Europe, and South America by JACK Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, Exigence choir, Tesla Quartet, Chiara Quartet, among others. She was a founding member and the Executive Director of the Khemia Ensemble and is currently a founding member of ANTiCX, a collective of multimedia artists.

Her music will be performed in Kansas City by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble as part of UMKC Conservatory's América Festival.

Carolina Heredia wrote “Ius in bello” in response to the ruthless retaliation of the Venezuelan government towards its peaceful civilian protesters during times of civil unrest in 2004. The "law of war" states that conflict could only happen in maintained areas, civilians should not be harmed, and certain types of weapons are not allowed.

The piece is scored for string quartet plus a clarinet, although the version to be performed by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble is adapted to "pierrot" ensemble: flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano.

The piece begins with the clanking sound of string instruments being roughly picked, producing a slapping, striking sound effect. This happens over a wandering clarinet melody.

The aural texture of a wind instrument woven into dissonant strings adds an air of unease that strings alone could not create. The resulting sound atmosphere is one of quiet terror.

After this introduction, the clarinet and strings take turns leading the piece, with clarinet sometimes providing underscoring to tight, dissonant tremolos, and other times the strings providing a sound bed over which the hooty timbre of the woodwind instrument can sing its tingling song.

The piece oscillates between dreamlike soundscapes, and sharp edged rhythmic gestures, but constantly lingering is a dissonance. In Heredia’s own words, this dissonance within the dream-like sections "depicts the utopian future we all imagine and hope for, while knowing that our current situation is so very far from that dream."

Learn more about the April 12 performance and the festival on the UMKC Conservatory's website or by following América Festival on Facebook.