Who am I?

I write music. Mostly for piano, orchestra and electronic ensemble. In simpler words, I write music the classical way (for traditional symphonic acoustic instruments), but also mix things a bit with synthesizers in some of my works.

My favorite genres are classical, jazz and contemporary instrumental. I don't have much of a taste for ultra-commercial music, although there is some that I like.

I have always being a musician. I don't think I remember a time in my infant life in which I could say I wasn't thinking, making or doing something related with music. I learned guitar and piano since a very early age (5 years old) and also spent many years learning theory in the music conservatory of the National University of Colombia, in my city of birth, Bogotá. After that, I had plenty of teachers and instructors, whom largely allowed me to follow my own creative path, while instilling in me all technical aspects of what music is about. Good times. I live in Florida now with my family.

I also have a degree in Anthropology, a specialty degree in Economics, I program in 3 computer languages and I am crazy in love with my family.

I normally prefer the freedom to do the kind of music I want; the type of music I would like hear myself from other composers, but doesn't exist yet, or there is not enough of. For me, music is much more than something I do; it's what I am. I often think of it as a calling; not something that you do as a to pass the time, but rather as something you can't escape from whether you enjoy it or not. For a while I did music for TV, ads and some short films. That was great, but I think for now, unless it's a very interesting project, I don't really see myself doing that anymore as a main activity. I take music very seriously. I try to write the best possible music I can, and work hard at staying true to what I think is interesting and touching in all the music I write. This, because I truly believe in the power of music as medium or language.


A more recent photo of mine with my family.

My philosophy of composition is that of "melodic balance". My opinion is that innovation in music is overrated, yet lack of aesthetic value and commitment to it are not. Academic composers try too hard to be different, to bring something fresh to the history of music as an art. I think this is valid, but I think it's a double-edge sword that often results in rather weak, untouching or simply uninteresting results. Doing something different for the sake of it, I think is dishonest, and could produce mediocre outcomes. I think music-making is not only about doing things that nobody has ever heard before -without any regard to the aesthetic cost this entails -but letting our own time and shared experiences as human beings permeate what the pitches in the pages translate into our ears, brains and souls. On the other hand, I also believe clinging completely to the past is a mistake: classical musicians and purists are not willing to amplify an orchestra in a concert, and some academic composers are unwilling to use electronic instruments in their compositions. I think this is nonsense. Making good, touching, enjoyable, expressive work can use whatever tools exist at the composer's disposal. Respect for the art is certainly a good thing, but I don't think it should be confused with fear of creativity.

Why melodic balance? Melodic, because I think generally speaking, without melody, only half a message is communicated in music. Sure, rhythm and harmony are very important components, however, a melody on its own, could be a whole piece; whereas rhythm and harmony alone don't really make up whole piece, at least in the most classical sense of what music is. Balance because I think is important to be aware of the polarity inherent to all forms of art and explore it, while always finding its most aesthetic point of equilibrium, or balance. This applies to concepts such as lyricism vs pure ambient, atonal music vs tonal music and everything related to the dynamics of a composition. I am not saying this is how everyone should make music, but it is certainly how I intend to do so.

Vangelis once said: "Music is powerful [..] Everything is music, the universe is music". I think he was on to something. Music is certainly more than the collection of pitches and beats it is made of. Music is a metaphor of our existence, and reminds us of the order that exists among the chaos or entropy in the universe. All of this leads me to one and only inescapable goal: to do my absolute best for music to touch you in the deepest possible way, as the "divine" language I think it is.

Here is where I tell you about my music heroes:

Classical: Beethoven, Bach, Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Ravel and Shostakovich.
Non-Classical: Vangelis, Mike Oldfield, Chick Corea, Piazzola, Antonio Carlos Jobim.

My favorite piece of all music in existence is Tchaikovsky's Symphony # 6 "Pathetique" followed by the adagio of Mahler's symphony 9, and in third place, Bach's Chaconne.

As far as popular music albums goes, Mike Oldfield's Songs of Distant Earth and Vangelis' Conquest of Paradise make it as the top 2 albums in my list.


Enough about me! if you really want to know me more, watch my videos, listen to my music, and play my sheet music. If you are still here after reading all this, I love you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"Everything around us is music; the universe is music!"

- Evangelos Papathanassiou (A.K.A Vangelis).

"The earth has music for those who listen"

- Shakespeare.

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent"

- Victor Hugo

A photograph of mine, taken in 2004.

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We know that most people no longer pay for music. This is a problem. Even more so for musicians of jazz, classical and instrumental music (just like me!) that lack a large commercial demand for their music. A lot of us don't lack the merits, but we do lack the financial means to give you more of what you like.

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