Les Productions d'Oz

Les Productions d'Oz is a Canadian publisher specialized in sheet music for classical guitar, including a wide selection of titles for solo guitar, guitar ensemble and chamber music with guitar by over 150 composers and arrangers.

Since 2010, the publishing house Les Éditions Doberman-Yppan is also part of the Production d’Oz family.

Scores for two pieces that premiered at the cciMB 2016 (San Francisco Conservatory of Music) have been published by Les Productions d’Oz: Nazcan (2015) for eight guitars and two narrators (Spanish, English) by Javier Farías and Imbricatta (2015) for solo guitar by Sergio Assad (cciMB2016 commissioned composition).

Les Productions d’Oz has kindly offered to make the score for Imbricatta available to all cciMB 2018 participants upon completion of their application.

Imbricatta in 10 asymmetrical layers (2015) 

One of the most commonly used musical forms throughout history is variation. Although the form was used since the 14th century, the first piece published in variation form was Diferencias, by the 16th century vihuelist Luis de Narvaez. Since then most composers have used the form, in pieces such as assacaglias, chaconnes, and theme with variations. All these variations share the common ground of introducing main material (a theme or harmonic frame) that is then explored through the development of the piece.

When I wrote the piece Imbricatta for the Biasini Guitar Competition, I came up with a theme to be worked in the variation form. Rather than following the normal path of introducing the theme followed by the variations, I used the concept of the verb “imbricate” to create a set of ten variations or episodes in different sizes and moods. “Imbricate” is a word that describes similar things or related ideas partly overlapping each other, like roofing shingles. So instead of starting with a theme, the first three variations of this piece are instead searching for a theme.

The ten variations are presented in a way that each one of the episodes generates material to be explored in the following one. The change of moods is quite strong, but the piece is held together with the use of a recognizable main theme. The complete main theme appears just twice, strategically inserted in variations 4 and 7. Although the melodic material is the same in those two variations, the contrasting harmony––both tonal and chromatic––adds individual characters, and a balanced proportion to the set. Variation 5 is the most elaborate of all, where a condensed treatment of the melodic material is presented in retrograde, creating an improvisatory feeling.

From variation 8 to the end, the overall harmonic concept becomes mostly chromatic, and new materials are introduced to be reworked as well. The piece closes with an increasing use of chordal harmony over the fragmented initial main theme, along with the new materials that were introduced in variation 8.