The initial material for this piece came together during 2004 and evolved from technical and musical ideas I had previously used in two movements from different solo Guitar suites. The first of these was "Sugarloaf Mountain", the opening movement of "Scenes from Brazil". The second, "Rockweed", is the fourth movement of "Scenes from The Wild West".
Latin Cabaret reminded me of the energy and rhythmic drive of a Brazilian street carnival and the spectacle of a nightclub cabaret, hence the 'Showgirls' of the title. The pentatonic scale features prominently in much of the melodic material, often recurring in subtly different harmonic settings, as if seeing the same object in changing light or from different angles. One melodic idea is an almost exact reversal of the opening theme for example.
There are also percussive techniques woven into the musical texture and elements of minimalism, where I repeat the same group of notes in different permutations to create textures similar to changes in bell ringing.
Latin Cabaret was commissioned by the Guitar trio 'Appassionata' and first performed in London in 2005. It features on their recording 'Let Go'. I have also recorded the work on my album 'Visions and Vistas'. - Gary Ryan