Moonlight Beach Chaconne

Joseph Martin Waters – composer
Pei-Chun Tsai – violin
Michael Brown – marimba
Todd rewoldt – saxophone

Based on J. S. Bach:
Chaconne from Partita for Violin No. 2

Joseph Martin Waters (born 1952) is an American classical composer known for writing experimental chamber ensemble and orchestral music in which electronic sounds are integrated with traditional musical instruments. His style of composition is based in both the European classical as well as African (beat-based) musical traditions. He also mounts experimental electronic music festivals designed to bridge the gap between contemporary popular genres and the avant-garde western classical tradition.



A violin concerto featuring Pei-Chun Tsai. It is remotely based on J.S. Bach’s masterful Chaconne, from his Partita For Solo Violin No. 2 in D minor (BWV 1004). To create the work I gathered the triple and quadruple stops from a 33 measure section in the middle of the 15 minute work, where Bach’s instruction to the performer is simply to improvise…
I infused these chords into sacred rhythms brought from Nigeria via the slave trade to Cuba where they evolved into the rhythms of Cuban jazz and salsa. Here they are in their original form, animating Bach’s ingeniously straight forward harmonic progression.
Over this quickly moving syncopated landscape I spun my own slow arching melodies that float above like a jetliner over mountains. The video is a dreamscape and my first attempt at creating a visual video complement to my music.

It was a steep learning curve and in more ways than I can know is naive, certainly from the standpoint of artists who work in moving visual forms… but it was enormously challenging and equally fun to put together… and illuminated my music for me in countless ways…


So I hope you can overlook the many omissions in terms of color balance, lighting, framing, editing etc. and will enjoy it for what it is: a composer’s go at making a film … my hope is that it embodies a perspective that is essentially musical … Jozefius Jan. 26, 2021.

Pei-Chun Tsai, from Tainan, Taiwan, is two-time first-prize winner of the Taiwan National Violin Competition.
She has performed in Carnegie Weill Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center and the National Concert Hall in Taiwan. Pei-Chun has participated in many music festivals in the United States and Europe.

After receiving Bachelor and Masters degrees in violin performance from The Juilliard School, she earned her Doctorate in Musical Arts from the City University of New York. Pei-Chun is the founder and director of the Campanile Music Festival at San Diego State University where she curates innovative residencies of visiting artists from across the country.

Recent guests include the Formosa Quartet and Brooklyn Rider. Pei-Chun has been a member of the San Diego Symphony since 2006. As a violin lecturer at San Diego State University, Pei-Chun performs with the San Diego State University Chamber Orchestra regularly and has performed Moonlight Beach Chaconne with this ensemble in collaboration with SDSU choral department at Bread and Salt in Barrio Logan in 2019. 

Saint Children

Joseph Martin Waters
Saint Children is a scene from the opera “The Magic Hummingbird”, about refuges crossing the border through a magic tunnel.
This scene finds CLARA, FRANCISCO AND FRANKLIN lost in a storm and finding refuge in a hut of plant spirits, guided by Apollonia Sabia


PLANT SPIRITS Let out. Let out

APOLLONIA SABIA Let out your curious tongue

SPIRITS Can you hear?
Can you hear?
Can you hear?
Can you hear?
Can you hear?
Can you hear?
Can you hear?
Can you hear?

APOLLONIA Secret garden lies before you Hidden
From your eyes
In the secret garden
The orchestra is playing


APOLLONIA Be Still, Listen!


Can you hear?
Can you hear?


The wind in the leaves
Transforms the breath
Of the little saints
And the breath
Carries the voices
Singing together

APOLLONIA Intertwining


Be Still, Listen!

SPIRITS Can you hear?
Can you hear?
Can you hear?
Can you hear?

A tapestry of voices

FRANKLIN Can you hear?
Can you hear?
Can you hear?
Can you hear?


ning ning ning ning

APOLLONIA Let out your curious tongue
Let me place in your mouth
The sacred children

SPIRITS This is the reason
That you came FRANKLIN
This is the reason That you are here SPIRITS Can you hear?
Can you hear?
Can you hear?
Can you hear?
Ancient rhymes
Counterpoint And fugue

What is the message?
Aaaah Aaaah

Let the little saints
Lead you down
Once again
Back To the secret garden

Composer and Lyricist
Joseph Martin Waters

Director and Choreographer Lauren Haughton Gillis

Animator and Video Designer
Svetlana Reinish

Singer- Dancers
Featuring Karen Garcia as Apollonia-Sabia Leonard Patton
Mariam Mouawad
Nina Leilani Deering
Philip Gomez
Lexi Vierra
Cat Rojo
Todd Rewold

Todd Rewoldt – alto saxophone
Daniel Castro – guitars and bass
Geoffrey Burleson – piano
Daniel Pate – udu and pandeiro

Joseph Martin Waters – panpipes

Spoken word
Leonard Patton
Cat Rojo
Mark Rodriguez

Costume Design Faith A J Steenbergen

Stage Manager Mark Rodriguez

Director of Photography Daniel Castro

Beach videos
Bernie Cervantes

Lighting and Live Special Effects
Bernie Cervantes

Beach Silhouettes
Bernie Cervantes
Marlon Cervantes
Diana Bice
© copyright 2021
Joseph Martin Waters All Rights Reserved