A series about the history of Electroacoustic music in Mexico part 4.
ARTURO FUENTES (1975 Mexico) has lived in Europe since 1997 where he has been active as a composer of electroacoustic and instrumental music. In France (2008) he received a doctorate in composition and a master in philosophy under the direction of Horacio Vaggione and Antonia Soulez respectively. He was selected for the IRCAM Composition and Computer Music Cursus (2002-03). In Milan (1997-99) he studied with Franco Donatoni and in Mexico (1990-95) he earned a bachelor’s degree from CIEM. He received the diplomas of guitar and music theory by the Associate Board of the Royal Schools of Music of London. He also took composition courses with Bryan Ferneyhough, Tristan Murail, Jonathan Harvey, JM. López-López and Juan Trigos. His theoretical research concerns the relation between composition, computer music and philosophy.
RODRIGO SIGAL (1971) has a PhD in music composition with electroacoustic means at the City University in London UK, and a BA of composition at the CIEM, México City. He was part of the composition workshop of Mario Lavista, and he also studied with Denis Smalley, Javier Álvarez, Franco Donatoni, Judith Weir, Michael Jarrel, Alejandro Velasco and Juan Trigos among others. Presently he is finishing a post doctorate at the ENM and is in charge of the Mexican Center for Music and Sound Arts (CMMAS).
He is the artistic director of the Visiones Sonoras International Festival of electroacoustic music and from 2001 he has performed in more than 12 countries with his live electroacoustc music and video show “Oreja Digital”. He has received support from FONCA, CIEM, the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada, the ORS and the Sidney Perry Foundation in UK, Studio LIEM and the Studios Agon in Italy. In 1999 his work Cycles obtained the first prize at the Luigi Russolo contest in Italy, while Tolerance and Twilight obtained also honorific mentions in 2000 and 2001 respectively. Since 1998 he is an active member of the six composers group DAM, working on different inter-disciplinary projects such as “Altenative Sessions” in collaboration with the Maarten Altena Ensemble that was presented in Mexico and Holland during 2003. From 2004 he is a member of the Red de Arte Sonoro Latino-americano.
ISRAEL MARTÍNEZ (1979) was born in Guadalajara México. He is a sound artist, empirical composer and has a bachelor in the field of sciences of communication. His work has developed in different areas: composition of experimental music, electroacoustic, installation and sound intervention,bvideo and analysis about sound in society.bHe has participated in different sound art, electroacoustic and electronic experimental music festivals in Mexico such as Visiones Sonoras, Mutek, Muestra Internacional de Arte Sonoro, Instrumenta, Interface and SONOM, Bienal de Arte Electrónico Transitio MX, as well as in one of the most important electronic arts encounters in the world: the festival Ars Electrónica in Austria, where he received in 2007 the Distinction Prize in
the category of Digital Musics for his work Mi vida. He has also played his music in countries like México, England, France, Austria, Spain and Colombia. Also, he isbfounder of the alternative electronic music seal Abolipop and
mentor of the project “pop” Nebula 3.
JULIO ESTRADA (1943). Since the beginning, his music proposes the fusion of imagination and research. The composition processes has driven him to organize the improvisation, for example with Memorias for piano (1971). His book Music and theory of finite groups gives mathematical basis for his first theoretical propositions: compositional mechanisms with Melódica (1973); nets, with the chants alterno (1978), Tejido, Oculto; finite groups, with Canto mnémico. As general editor of the encyclopedic work La música de México he proposes the search of the musical origins of pre Hispanic México and the critique of the official culture. His book El sonido en Rulfo was the base for his Opera Pedro Páramo (1992-2006), including different modules: “Doloritas”, first part of Pedro Páramo, quasi una ópera radiofónica (1992); mictlan, femenine voice, ruidista and double bass (1992); miqi’nahual, double bass (1992); hum, for 5 voices (1999-2002). His research in the field of theory and composition synthesize two basic notions: the potential of intervals and scales —Canto naciente (1975-78)—and that of the continuous macro timbre developed in eua’on (electroacoustic), eua’on’ome (orchestra), eolo’oolin (6 percussions) the yuunohui for string soloist in different combinations, or ishini’ioni (string quartet). Salabert Editions edit his work since 1980. He has been distinguished with different prizes such as the Darmstadt courses (1971), the Radio Nacional de España (1992) and the Prix Prince Pierre de Mó- naco (1993). He received a Doctorate cum laude in musicology at the Strasbourg University, France. He teaches since 1971 at ENM and is the director (starting in 1996) of the Laboratorio de Creación Musical at the same school. He is a full time researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas and member of the Sistema Nacional de Investigadores, and of the Academia Mexicana de Ciencias. He was professor at the Centre de Mathématiques et Automatiques Musicales of Paris (1980-86), and the government of France has distinguished him in two occasions with the Orden de las Artes y las Letras.
VICENTE ROJO CAMA (1960 México City) studied electroacoustic composition in the Superior Conservatory of Paris, and computer music at the Brooklyn College and Stanford University. He has composed concert music and for dance, video, performance, installations, and visual art shows. His music has been performed in multiple national and international forums. At the same time he has pursued a career as a visual artist and graphic designer, designing a number of book covers, catalogues, art books, CDs, posters, etc. He has shown his work in diverse national and international exhibitions, and obtained awards, grants and national and international prizes for his work as a musician and designer.
ANA LARA (1959), born in Mexico City. She studied at the National Conservatory of Music with Mario Lavista and Daniel Catánand later with Fredrico Ibarra. She continued her studies at the WarsawAcademy of Music with Zbigniew Rudzinski and Wlodzimierz Kotonski. She also studied ethnomusicology at the University of Maryland, graduating with a Master of Arts degree.
After completing her studies, Lara worked as a composer and music producer. In 1989 she began producing a Mexico City University Radio (Radio UNAM) contemporary music program, and in 2000 she was nominated as Best Classical Album Producer at the Latin Grammy Awards. She founded and served as artistic director of Mexico’s International Festival Música y Escena, and served as artistic director of the Puebla Instrumenta Verano 2004 summer courses. She also teaches music and seminars on Latin American and twentieth century music.
MARIO LAVISTA (1943) was born in México City. He studied composition with Carlos Chávez, Héctor Quintanar, and musical analysis with Rodolfo Halffter at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música (CNM). From 1967 to 1969 he received a grant from the French government in order to study with Jean Etienne Marie at the Schola Cantorum. In 1969 he was a student of Stockhausen at the Reinische Musikschule of Cologne and participated at the International new music courses in Darmstadt, Germany. He founded in 1970 the improvisation group Quanta, interested in the simultaneous creation and interpretationvand in the relationships between “live” music and electroacoustic music. He realized graphic musical Works with the painter Arnaldo Coen and composed music for various films of Nicolás Echeverría. His interest in the exploration and research of new possible instrumental and expressive techniques has taken him to a close collaboration with some outstanding performers. In 1987 he obtained the Guggenheim grant in order to write his opera Aura, and he was named a member of the Academia de Artes. In 1991 he received the Prize Premio Nacional de Ciencias y Artes and two years later CONACULTA distinguished him as a Creador Emérito. In 1998 he entered El Colegio Nacional. Presently he teaches composition, analysis and XX century musical language at the CNM and he is the director of the magazine Pauta, cuadernos de teoría y crítica
Works with a note of the composers:
1/ FOSIL KV by (2006) for 4 channels (short stereoversion) by Arturo Fuentes.
Through brief and swift percussive sounds, this piece aims to portray a dense and articulated sense of movement in layers of multiple motions. An old organ keyboard presumably played by Mozart in 1772 was used to produce
some of the sounds that compose it. FOSIL KV was premiered at the 8th electroacoustic composition competition Música Viva, Portugal 2007.
2/ Friction of things in other places Friction of things in other places (2002) for tape by Rodrigo Sigal.
When things occur simultaneously there will always be different levels of friction. Energy, disagreement, pitch, physical action and other areas where difference can generate musical material. Friction of things in other places explores different levels to structure sound ideas through differences in material and sound sources. Created in 2002 at the composer’s studio and commissioned by CONACULTA, the piece has been performed in more than 15 countries. It won the third place at the Jeu de temps/Time play 2003 competition.
3/ Exorcizio I (2006) for tape by Israel Martinez.
A man walks by a semi-deserted landscape, he doesn’t know but he’s going on into his own mind, a perturbed mind full of contradictions. His obsessions, frustrations, yearnings, defects and virtues are confronting him and shaking his interior from one side to the other. It’s an exorcism: the exercise of the internal demons. Work composed through synthesis and digital processing.
4/ eua’on (1980) for tape, by Julio Estrada.
This work broke with the universe of scales. The basis of the process was a drawing for the UPIC computer created by Xenakis. My drawings in the digital table of the machine incited me to do a direct musical creation and showed me the close relationship between seeing and hearing. To face the electronic sound rigidity I made use of my digitized voice that creates a multiphonic, a product of its modulation with a hoarse roar in the infra-low register. Conceived as a continuous, eua’on is a long scream made from hundreds of voices that generates a dense choral mass reminding us the threaded sonority of the wind, of physical changes similar to the human voice and that, when stretched with elasticity toward the highs, is converted into a noisy scream.
5/ Erótica II (1986) for violin, balloon and electronics by Vincente Rojo Cama.
Violin: Carlo Nicolau, Balloon: Vicente Rojo Cama
In this work, the sound relationships between a violin and a plastic inflated balloon are explored. The glissandi, pizzicatos, screeching and other sounds that the violin is able to play, are contra posed, interplaying and merging with the rubbing, pinching, hitting and other effects obtained manually with the balloon. The sounds produced by both instruments were electronically modified in real time during their recording in four channels, and later mixed down to two channels. The timbre combination of these two different and almost opposed sound sources, along with their electronic modification, produce an outcome where it is not easy to discern what is the origin of the sounds emanating from the soundtrack. This work was premiered at the Jornadas de Búsqueda in the ENM of UNAM, Mexico 1987.
6/ Solipse for cello and tape (2010) by Ana Lara.
Solipsis is the belief that only I myself and my own experiences are real, while anything else—a physical object or another person—is nothing more than an object of my consciousness. In Solipse, for cello and tape, I have only used the sound of the cello to work on the tape so in a way the sonic universe created through the electronic devices and transformations become a conversation between the electronic world and its source. Solipse was commissioned by CUBE Contemporary Music Ensemble and the CMMAS.
7/ Contrapunto (Counterpoint) (1972) for tape by MARIO LAVISTA
The elements that conform the musical material of this work have a diverse and maybe contradictory origin. Integrating these elements in a coherent structure implies difficult problems for the formal aspect of the piece, especially owing to the heterogeneity of the materials. Mahler’s 9th symphony, The Rolling Stones, music from the Japanese imperial court named gagaku, fragments of noh theater, electronic sounds, organ, The Beatles, a waltz by Richard Strauss, Zen Buddhism music, a USA radio station, national anthems from México, Japan and USA, etc, are all elements that appear in the work, sometimes literally. All of them have been manipulated and transformed until becoming unrecognizable at times, due to the electroacoustic techniques used such as filtering, frequency and amplitude modulation, pitch variation and editing. This is why in some passages of the work electronic sounds can be confused with a fragment of Mahler’s 9th, or Buddhist chants with Jimi Hendrix for example. The superposition of such elements and their articulation in time originate a polyphonic texture and counterpoint interplay.
Works from Disk I -III from Album: MÉXICO ELECTROACÚSTICO [1960 – 2007]
Many thank to the artistic director of this document: Manuel Rocha.
Many thanks to Ana Lara.