Music


compose contemporary chamber, orchestral, intercultural and electronic music.

My creative work gravitates around two main themes: relating diverse musical traditions and incorporating new media into musical frameworks. In both cases, I seek to explore the boundaries between musical concepts and traditions. I’m interested in blurring those boundaries, and creating something unique out of their dissolution. As a result, in my work it isn’t uncommon to hear concrete music sources blended into instrumental melodic lines or East-Asian instrumental timbres coexisting with Western musical ideas. I don’t seek to juxtapose or to fuse, but aim to create music that presents diversity while creating unity.

Additionally, I seek to create imaginative, energetic works that engage the listener. My pieces are characterized by sustained energetic passages, vibrant orchestrations, symmetrical structures, and ornamental textures.

Read more about my work by clicking here, listen to my works below.

See a list of works by clicking here.


Sur les debris for Bass Flute and Electronics

Recording: Shanna Gutierrez, Bass Flute

Score

Click on the image to see An Excerpt of the score for Sur les debris for Bass Flute and Electronics.

Click on the image to see An Excerpt of the score for Sur les debris for Bass Flute and Electronics.

Behind the fractured, percussive lines played by the bass flute in Sur les debris, lay the remains of the shattered recording of a reading of a poem by Arthur Rimbaud. The recording is barely perceivable, the source never recognizable. However the shattered recording is essential in the understanding of the piece, as it served the role of a seed from which the rhythmic and timbral materials germinated. The resulting music is brittle and discontinuous: surfaces that lie at the border between rhythm and texture, splintered pedals that are sparked and interrupted by violent gestures, silences and pauses that disrupt the linearity of the piece.

Sur les debris is dedicated to Shanna Gutierrez, with whom I worked with many hours, gathering materials, testing musical passages, exchanging ideas, making music.

Wat de Mexicaan aan klanken voor de grote fluit voorschrijft (meer dan eervolle vermelding ook voor fluitiste Shanna Gutierrez!) is fascinerend. De elektronische track bestaat uit een zwaar vervormde voordracht van het gelijknamige gedicht van Rimbaud. Er is geen menselijke stem op te herkennen; we krijgen er een hele reeks prachtige ruisende en tikkende geluiden voor in de plaats. Deze klanken zijn de débris, het puin waarop de fluitsolo wordt opgebouwd
— Wouter Steenbeek, Musiqlog (http://www.musiqolog.nl/?p=151)
The sounds that the Mexican composer creates for the flute are fascinating (more than honorable mention for flutist Shanna Gutierrez as well!) The electronic track consists of a heavily distorted recitation of a poem by Rimbaud. There is no human voice to recognize; we geta whole range of beautiful rushing and ticking noises instead. The sounds are the debris, the debris on which the flute solo is built.
— Wouter Steenbeek, Musiqlog (http://www.musiqolog.nl/?p=151)

Horizon Plus for Japanese Shô and Live Electronics

Naomi Sato performing Horizon Plus for Japanese Shô and Live Electronics.

Video: Naomi Sato, Shô; Experimental Studio des SWR, Electronics.

Score

Click on the image to see the full score for Horizon Plus for Japanese Shô and Live Electronics.

Click on the image to see the full score for Horizon Plus for Japanese Shô and Live Electronics.

Horizon Plus is inspired by solo Shô music from the Gagaku tradition from Japan.

The piece consists of series of long, sustained phrases of different lengths that are fed into live processes in the electronics. These processes act as a hologram around the Shô’s sound, sometimes enhancing its timbral characteristics, other times extending its pitch range, sometimes creating a distorted image by slightly affecting the instrument’s pitch, and other times creating fluttering pulses that enliven the musical texture.

Following the tradition of Gagaku notation, there are no indications of rhythm or dynamics in the score of Horizon Plus. The player is given the indication to play in long, periodic breaths, creating extended phrases out of each system.

Without rhythm or dynamics the piece is organized by the compartmentalization of musical material into a series of systems. Each system has a different number of measures. Systems with multiple measures follow a pattern of growth through which each subsequent measure has more events than the previous one, thus creating an exponentially asymmetrical set of phrase lengths. Systems with only one event are to be given special emphasis that the player can achieve through dynamics or length. This follows a common element in Gagaku music: the use of extremely long single tones that act as structural markers.

Another common structural element in Gagaku music is the appearance of new material towards the very end of the piece. In Horizon Plus this is emulated through the introduction of a straightforward melody (emphasized by the pitch shifting at octaves) in the very last system of the piece.

The piece was composed in collaboration with Naomi Sato who premiered it with the Experimentalstudio des SWR at the Atlas Festival in 2012.


Resti, in collaboration with Video Artist Marco G. Ferrari

VIDEO Excerpt WITH LOOPTAIL ENSEMBLE IN UTRECHT, 2014

SCORE

Click the image to see an excerpt of the score for Resti

Click the image to see an excerpt of the score for Resti

Resti is part of a series of pieces emerging from an ongoing collaboration between video artist Marco G. Ferrari and me.

Ferrari writes about the video: "Throughout the years as water levels dropped in Lake Michigan a shipwreck off the Chicago lakefront was slowly revealed. I began to capture this object during the last two winters as the conditions around it changed. It was the beginning of a process to discover a story that I have yet to fully discover. In Resti, I explore digital superimpositions, pushing and pulling the horizon line, shifting and settling the image that seems fixed, yet is in constant motion."

Ferrari's two-winter long documentation is reduced to a fragmented eleven minute-long piece onto which Castillo Trigueros' sparse and austere sounds are attached like pieces of ice clinging onto the ship's decayed skeleton.

The piece was created for Looptail Ensemble for the 2014 Gaudeamus Music Week in Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Prisma for Oboe, 6 East-Asian Instruments, and Strings

...exotic instruments such as the sho, the zheng, the koto and the erhu enter into a covenant with Western instruments. Oboist Ernest Rombout has a rewarding solo role in this exceptionally dosed work in which the different timbres first first and then splinter.
— Frits van der Waa, De Volkskrant

Recording: Ernest Rombout, Oboe; Atlas Ensemble; Artjom Kim, Conductor

Score

Click on image to see an excerpt of the score for Prisma. 

Click on image to see an excerpt of the score for Prisma

Prisma was composed during the summer of 2009 while I was taking part in the first edition of the Atlas Academy in Amsterdam. The Atlas Academy is an annual gathering of musicians from different parts of the world. In it instrumentalists and composers collaborate and learn from each other’s traditions with the goal of creating new intercultural repertoire.

Prisma is an exploration of the new timbral possibilities made available by a unique combination of instruments. The ensemble, composed of a solo oboe, shakuhachi, sho, sheng, zheng, koto, erhu and strings, presented the challenge of putting together instruments from vastly different characteristics and musical traditions. The oboe, with its unique color, acts as a bridge between them.

The piece is in two sections: in the first the instruments are blended together to create a unified fluid timbre, while the solo oboe hovers above. An intense climax leads us to the second section where the timbral unification is dissolved and we hear glimpses of the personality of the different instruments (for example forceful glissandi in the zheng and koto, slides in the erhu, and pizzicati in the strings) always under the ever-evolving frenetic oboe line.

Prisma is dedicated to Ernest Rombout who performs in this recording with the Atlas Ensemble (Artjom Kim, conductor.)


Halo incrusté.. for Violoncello, Piano, Percussion, and Live Electronics

Recording: Russell Rolen, Amy Briggs, Lia DeRoin

Score

Click on score to see an excerpt of the score for Halo Incrusté...

Click on score to see an excerpt of the score for Halo Incrusté...

Program Note:

Halo Incrusté... is a work based on and titled after a fragment of the poem “L’ecart” by Georges Perec. In the opening of the piece the instruments are treated as a unit, in which the combination of individual materials results in integrated crystalline gestures. Computer processes refract these gestures creating a quiet sonic aura around the performance space. As the piece progresses the instruments become more independent from one another and the electronic aura gradually thickens into a dense mass that blurs the harmonic, timbral and rhythmic materials of the piece. 


The Chromochord Installation

Giving the keynote address at the Gray Colloquium at St. Mark's School.

Giving the keynote address at the Gray Colloquium at St. Mark's School.

The Chromochord is a bioelectronic musical instrument that reads data from light-absorbing proteins found in oat plants (AsLOV2). The instrument is the result of the collaboration with Josiah Zayner, a molecular biologist. 

The hardware design, Arduino programming, and protein engineering were done by Josiah Zayner, while I took care of the software and sound design in Max/MSP. 

The Chromochord was made possible by the Graduate Collaboarion Grant from the Arts|Science Initiative at the University of Chicago.

The Chromochord has 12-wells that contain AsLOV2 protein solution. The instrument reads changes in the proteins' absorbance of light and maps that data into different recognizable sounds. As the proteins break down over time The Chromochord measures the degradation of the proteins and transforms the sounds for each well, until only sustained noise is left.

The Chromochord Installation

The Chromochord Installation is an audiovisual installation piece generated by the reading of light-responsive proteins. 

The Chromochord Installation was motivated by Josiah Zayner's desire to allow "ordinary people" (non-scientists...) to experience and interact with the AsLOV2 protein outside of a laboratory.

The installation was first presented on May 8, 2013 at the Logan Center for the Arts in Chicago.


List of Works

OrchestraL

Altra for chamber orchestra: for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (2010) - 9’

XXX for orchestra: for Orchestre National de Lorraine at the Acanthes Festival (2008) - 5’

intermedia

Resti for Ensemble, Video, and Electronics with video artist Marco G. Ferrari: for Ensemble Looptail (2014) - 12'

Velodromo II for Video and Electronics with video artist Marco G. Ferrari (2014) - 5' 

Chromochord installation: sonification of light-responsive proteins (2013) – 48+ hours

La espera: videodance with electronics: for Delfos Danza Contemporanea (2011-13)

Intercultural

Horizon Plus for Japanese shô and live electronics: for Naomi Sato and the Experimentalstudio des SWR (2012) - 7

Mestizo for soprano and intercultural ensemble: for the Atlas Ensemble (2012) - 11’

Prisma for solo oboe, 6 East Asian instruments, and strings: for Ernest Rombout and the Atlas Ensemble (2009) – 8’ 

Canon para Ziggurat for duduk, erhu, viola da gamba, and contrabass: for Ziggurat Ensemble (2008) - 5’

Solar for intercultural ensemble: for the Nieuw Ensemble (2007) – 7’ 

Large Ensemble (2-6 players)

Utrecht for Large Ensemble: for the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (2014) - 13'

Ikoni for piano and large ensemble: for Lisa Kaplan and Contempo (2012-13) – 8'

Mestizo for soprano and intercultural ensemble: for the Atlas Ensemble (2012) - 11’

Prisma for solo oboe, 6 East Asian instruments, and strings: for Ernest Rombout and the Atlas Ensemble (2009) – 8’

Sub-Partiels for eight instruments: for the Asko Ensemble (2008) – 8’

Solar for intercultural ensemble: for the Nieuw Ensemble (2007) – 7’

Small Ensemble (6 or less PLayers, with or without electronics)

Resti for Ensemble, Video, and Electronics with video artist Marco G. Ferrari: for Ensemble Looptail (2014) - 12’

Ideario for Bass Flute, Baritone Saxophone, and Violoncello: for Vertixe Sonora (2014) - 11'

Duo for Flute and Percussion: for A/B Duo (2014) - 9’

Tlal for string quartet and electronics (2013) – 5’

Emblema | Blau for alto flute, string quartet, and percussion: for Tim Munro, the Pacifica String Quartet, and Doug Perkins (2012) - 5’ 

Calavera: a la luna, testigo for voice and chamber ensemble (2011-12) - 10’

Idea fija otra vez indecible el hilo espeso es una luz propia for saxophone, violin, violoncello, and live electronics (2011): for Ensemble Dal Niente – 7’ 

Abismo azul, floreciente for voice, bass flute, saxophone, and percussion (2011) - 9’ 

Halo incrusté... for violoncello, piano, percussion, and live electronics (2011) - 10’ 

Nealika for flute, violoncello, percussion and piano: for eighth blackbird (2010) - 12’ 

Canon para Ziggurat for duduk, erhu, viola da gamba, and contrabass: for Ziggurat Ensemble (2008) - 5’ 

Iambic Raga for two saxophones, horn and percussion (2007) - 6’ 

For Enso for string quartet: for the Enso String Quartet (2005)

Canto for sextet: for Speculum Musicae (2004)

Solsticio for violoncello and piano (2002-03)

Solo (with or without electronics)

Counteressence for tenor saxophone and electronics: for Ryan Muncy (2013) - 7’ 

Sur les debris for bass flute and electronics: for Shanna Gutierrez (2013) - 12’ 

Horizon Plus for Japanese shô and live electronics: for Naomi Sato and the Experimentalstudio des SWR (2012) - 7’

desde un sueño espeso, suspiro inmovil, mar infinito for flute and electronics (2012) – 11’ 

Monólogo Fantástico for bass clarinet (2007) – 9’

Tres Nocturnas for piano (2005-06)

Oda for violoncello and electronics (2005)

With Electronics

Resti for Ensemble, Video, and Electronics with video artist Marco G. Ferrari: for Ensemble Looptail (2014) - 12’

Chromochord installation: sonification of light-responsive proteins (2013) – 48+ hours 

Tlal for string quartet and electronics (2013) – 5’

La espera: videodance with electronics: for Delfos Danza Contemporanea (2011-13) 

Counteressence for tenor saxophone and electronics: for Ryan Muncy (2013) - 7’ 

Sur les debris for bass flute and electronics: for Shanna Gutierrez (2013) - 12’ 

Horizon Plus for Japanese shô and live electronics: for Naomi Sato and the Experimentalstudio des SWR (2012) - 7’

desde un sueño espeso, suspiro inmovil, mar infinito for flute and electronics (2012) – 11’ 

Idea fija otra vez indecible el hilo espeso es una luz propia for saxophone, violin, violoncello, and live electronics (2011): for Ensemble Dal Niente – 7’ 

Halo incrusté... for violoncello, piano, percussion, and live electronics (2011) - 10’ 

Blue Elegy, for Rothko for FM synthesizer and live electronics (2009) – 16’ 

Abstracto No.2 for sine waves, noise and granular processes (2009) - 5’ 

Oda for violoncello and electronics (2005) - 5'

All

Utrecht for Large Ensemble: for the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (2014) - 13’

Resti for Ensemble, Video, and Electronics with video artist Marco G. Ferrari: for Ensemble Looptail (2014) - 12’

Ideario for Bass Flute, Baritone Saxophone, and Violoncello: for Vertixe Sonora (2014) - 11’

Duo for Flute and Percussion: for A/B Duo (2014) - 9’

Chromochord installation: sonification of light-responsive proteins (2013) – 48+ hours 

Tlal for string quartet and electronics (2013) – 5’

Ikoni for piano and large ensemble: for Lisa Kaplan and Contempo (2012-13) – 8’

La espera: videodance with electronics: for Delfos Danza Contemporanea (2011-13) 

Counteressence for tenor saxophone and electronics: for Ryan Muncy (2013) - 7’ 

Sur les debris for bass flute and electronics: for Shanna Gutierrez (2013) - 12’ 

Horizon Plus for Japanese shô and live electronics: for Naomi Sato and the Experimentalstudio des SWR (2012) - 7’

desde un sueño espeso, suspiro inmovil, mar infinito for flute and electronics (2012) – 11’ 

Emblema | Blau for alto flute, string quartet, and percussion: for Tim Munro, the Pacifica String Quartet, and Doug Perkins (2012) - 5’ 

Calavera: a la luna, testigo for voice and chamber ensemble (2011-12) - 10’

Idea fija otra vez indecible el hilo espeso es una luz propia for saxophone, violin, violoncello, and live electronics (2011): for Ensemble Dal Niente – 7’ 

Abismo azul, floreciente for voice, bass flute, and saxophone (2011) - 9’ 

Mestizo for soprano and intercultural ensemble: for the Atlas Ensemble (2012) - 11’ 

Halo incrusté... for violoncello, piano, percussion, and live electronics (2011) - 10’ 

Altra for chamber orchestra: for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (2010) - 9’ 

Nealika for flute, violoncello, percussion and piano: for eighth blackbird (2010) - 12’ 

Prisma for solo oboe, 6 East Asian instruments, and strings: for Ernest Rombout and the Atlas Ensemble (2009) – 8’ 

Blue Elegy, for Rothko for FM synthesizer and live electronics (2009) – 16’ Zahir for alto saxophone (2009) – 6’ 

Abstracto No.2 for sine waves, noise and granular processes (2009) - 5’ 

XXX for orchestra: for Orchestre National de Lorraine at the Acanthes Festival (2008) - 5’ 

Canon para Ziggurat for duduk, erhu, viola da gamba, and contrabass: for Ziggurat Ensemble (2008) - 5’ 

Sub-Partiels for eight instruments: for the Asko Ensemble (2008) – 8’ 

Monólogo Fantástico for bass clarinet (2007) – 9’

Iambic Raga for two saxophones, horn and percussion (2007) - 6’ 

Solar for intercultural ensemble: for the Nieuw Ensemble (2007) – 7’ 

Tres Nocturnas for piano (2005-06)

Oda for violoncello and electronics (2005)

For Enso for string quartet: for the Enso String Quartet (2005)

Canto for sextet: for Speculum Musicae (2004)

Solsticio for violoncello and piano (2002-03)