Algo pasa que no pasa nada

for chamber orchestra, electric guitar & electronics (2018)

premiere: 22/09/18, University Museum of Contemporary Art (MUAC) – UNAM, Mexico City, (MX)

director: Christian Gohmer

Commissioned by and composed during the Arturo Márquez Extraordinary Fellowship in Music Composition, UNAM 2018, and premiered at the University Museum of Contemporary Art (MUAC), in commemoration for the 50 years of the student movement in Mexico and the Tlatelolco massacre of 1968. The piece is also based on the impunity and state violence in Mexico.

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Carraca

for tenor sax, tape & electronics (2018)

premiere: 29/08/18, Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City, (MX)

tenor sax: Roberto Tercero

electronics: Diego Lozano

Electroacoustic piece composed in collaboration with Roberto Tercero for the photographic exhibition “Africamericanos” at Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City, (MX).

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africamericanos

Hollow

for solo guitar (2017)

premiere: 19/04/18, Martin Batchelor, Victoria BC, (CA)

guitar: Adrian Verdejo

The piece was inspired by feelings of hollowness, spaciousness, timelessness, emersion and dissipation. The composition of the piece was approached in a free and spontaneous manner, in which I decided only to capture musical ideas that appeared as transient, passing objects, giving them space and without forcing them into shape.

The piece evolves around gestures based on unisons, fourths, fifths and octaves, which can be considered “hollow” or “empty” sounding intervals. Also, certain techniques and ideas are employed to evoke “hollow like” sounds, for example: hitting the body of the guitar, plucking the strings over the fretboard, eliminating certain partials of a tone, open chord dispositions, harmonics, etc.

The piece is also inspired by the art installation “Hollow” by artist Katie Paterson and architects Zeller & Moye for the University of Bristol, England.

Electroacoustic Study I. Electrofarts

Electroacoustic study using granular and additive synthesis.

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Electroacoustic Study II. Twisted Traces

Electroacoustic study using additive synthesis.

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Electroacoustic Study III. Inside Out Beach

Electroacoustic study using granulation, low frequency oscillators and electric guitar sounds processed with a digital delay unit.

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(music composed for the short film “Interior. Noche.”)

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Electroacoustic Study IV. Plastelastic

Electroacoustic study with time stretch and sounds from a balloon.

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(Re)torno

for two guitars (2017)

guitars: Diego Lozano

The title makes reference to three fundamental things:

a) To “return”.
b) The parenthesis separates the prefix “re”, which means “again”.
c) It also emphasizes the note Re (D). This is because there is a scordatura of the sixth string to D, which works as a pedal note throughout the piece.

The piece was inspired by the idea of unity and divergence, as well as the parallelism between oneself and the perception one has of him/her self.

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Scopes

series of 5 improvisational pieces for electric guitar (2017)

premiere: 17/04/17, Bin Taq Festival of New Music, Tapachula, Chiapas, (MX)

electric guitar: Hector Murrieta

artwork & graphic scores: Diego Lozano

Meaning of “scope”:

a) Space or opportunity for unhampered motion, activity, or thought.

b) To look at or over; examine.

c) Extent, limit or range of view, outlook, etc.

The concept of this work is to express freely associated thoughts and feelings with sound and image, and to reflect a dynamic interaction between these mediums. Each piece is represented by a graphic scores and a visual art/drawing, aided by an “indications” page.

The player must try to create a subjective sonic equivalent of each drawing, using the scores as creative platforms. The player may use any effect and gear as desired. Once the general and particular indications of each Scope are understood, the player may freely improvise and create a space of their own.

During some improvisation sessions, certain abstract and figurative imagery came to my mind and without putting down the guitar, I began to draw and design figures from what I imagined the music looked like. Then I tried to find a musical correlation from the visual elements I had captured on paper. So on and so forth, I found myself spiraling into a mirroring creative process between images and sound. The result is the reflection of abstract thought, manifested in sound and image, born from an audiovisual creative process driven by free association and improvisation.

“…in the place of a space interwoven by a person with consciousness, is formed a space interwoven by the subconscious.” – Walter Benjamin

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We Are Time Floating Through Bodies

for synthesizer & vibraphone (2016)

vibes: Ricardo Ramos

synths: Diego Lozano

(unused music for film)

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Cáscara

for guitar & tape (2016)

guitar: Diego Lozano

premiere: 19/04/18, Adrian Verdejo, Martin Batchelor Gallery, Victoria BC, (CA)

other concerts: 26/09/18, Alejandro Ruscio, Biblioteca Nacional, Buenos Aires, (AR)

winning piece: SAMADIS International Composition Competition 2016, New York, (US)

selection: International Call for Mixed Media Pieces “Mega Jury”, Manuel de Falla Superior Conservatory of Music, Buenos Aires, (AR)

The piece is based on three fundamental concepts integrated in the title:

1) Cáscara: a word in spanish which means “shell” or “skin”.

2) Cascar, from the etymology of cáscara, means to “hit”, “thump” or “break”.

3) Cáscara or cascarita: in Mexican slang means a “pick up game”.

The core idea of the piece is to explore and express certain similarities between architecture and music. The similarity I am most interested in has to do with the subjective, abstract and mental space produced in the listening experience. In other words, it’s about the inner spatiality created by sounds, how sounds transform and how we transform with them during their perception. The piece is about how we move within the mental structural space induced by music. It’s like being in a house or in an architectural structure.

The piece is a sonic analogy of my own home, which is represented by the two parts: tape and guitar. The tape part represents a house or a fixed and permanent structure, and the guitar part represents the resident of the house, or an individual. The tape part was composed using many sounds I recorded from my own home, such as kitchen utensils, household appliances, bathroom and office accessories, screeching doors, running water, etc. The guitar material consists mostly of specific physical actions written in a rather non-traditional notation (explained in detail in the Instructions pages) which adds the piece an intuitive nature and provides it with an important improvisational quality.

The piece is divided in eight sections which correspond to the number of rooms in my house, each one containing different musical material. Once these ideas are completely understood, the guitarist may play the material with certain freedom regarding intensity, duration and pitch, but he/she will be required to always keep a congruent yet subjective correspondence with the electronic part. Indications are announced all along the score to help the player place him/her self through the timeline. Changes from one section to another and the order of the musical material within the sections do not have to be exact.

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Musikphantome

for string quartet (2012)

premiere: 27/07/12, Cuarteto Arcano, Manuel M. Ponce Hall, Palace for the Fine Arts Mexico City, (MX)

other concerts: 01/12/12, Quatuor Molinari, Montreal Conservatory of Music, (CA)

first prize: Malta International Composition Competition 2015, Central Academy of Arts, Valetta, (MT)

finalist: The Fifth International Composition Competition for String Quartet, Molinari Quartet, Montreal, (CA)

Musikphantome is a term used by Christoph Ruths, and can be translated as “ghosts of music”.

The initial idea for the piece was to transfigure from psychic imagery to a musical language a recollection of memories which involuntarily kept appearing in my mind. These “ghosts” manifested themselves in groups conformed by individual abstract figures, each group with distinct characteristics, forms, colors, textures, and essences. Somehow, I managed to explore and ultimately externalize these “ghosts” by making way for them through a very intuitive compositional process. 

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Tianguis

for mixed choir (2011)

premiere: 20/06/12, Solistas Ensamble (dir. Christian Gohmer), Forum for New Music Manuel Enríquez 2012, Manuel M. Ponce Hall, Palace for the Fine Arts, Mexico City, (MX)

The piece is based on the idea of recreating a trajectory through a tianguis (market place) in Mexico City. During one of my walks through one of these popular markets, I ready myself to listen, analyze, study and record some of the audible elements that form part of the spirit of the tianguis: the expressions, the phrases, the gestures, the offers, the murmurs, the whistling, the witty ambience and the unique manifestations of the salesmen. These elements form part of the musical material of the piece from which the melodic ideas were born. Several excerpts from the poem Tianguis, by mexican poet José Juan Tablada, were included to help me transmit the essence of the tianguis in a poetic way and to help give the work a better sense of unity.

The listener, as someone who walks through the tianguis, begins his path by entering the market, where the phrases and expressions are not clearly perceived, and at a distance, the voices of the people are heard as a mumble. Gradually, as the walker infiltrates deeper into the market, the uproar clarifies. The passerby moves through the corridors as the salesmen scream for attention, inviting the shopper to their stand. Eventually, the walker arrives to the core of the market, the chaotic climax, where everyone yells, everyone passes through and everyone offers their product. The irregular pulse of the people is felt like a throbbing mosaic. Lost in the tumultuous polyphony. At last, the rambler escapes the turmoil, slowly finding more and more stability. He directs himself towards the exit, experiencing the colors, the scents, the sounds and the chromatic joy of the tianguis. Gradually, the sound of the people mixes up and slowly fades away, until only the murmur of the people at a distance is heard again.

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Effugi Effugiturus

for chamber ensemble (2010)

premiere: 03/25/11, Tempus Fugit (dir. Christian Gohmer), North Anáhuac University, Mexico State, (MX)

other concerts: 30/09/11, Manuel M. Ponce Hall, Palace for the Fine Arts, Mexico City (MX); 09/10/11, Theatre for the Arts, National Centre for the Arts, Mexico City, (MX)

The pieces is inspired by the “The baron in the trees” by Italo Calvino.

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Interior. Noche.

original music

short film

year: 2018

duration: 2:30 min.

country: Mexico

director: Soledad Violeta

genre: experimental

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El candidato Rayo

original music

t.v. mini series (12 episodes)

year: 2018

duration: 10 min.

country: Mexico

director: Diego Graue

script: Diego Graue, Santiago Mohar & Esteban Sheridan

genre: comedy

production: Cine Buró / Televisa

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A la hora marcada

original music

short film

year: 2017

duration: 15 min.

country: Mexico

director: Jose Luis Rivera

script: Jose Luis Rivera

genre: western

production: Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica (CCC)

awards: Director’s Choice for Best International Short Film – The Wild Bunch Film Festival (EU), Best Western Short Film Short Film Showcase of Salas de los Infantes (ES), Honorific Mention – Montevideo Fantástico (UY).
selections: Álamos Mágico IFF 2018, Horror Hound Weekend 2018, Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival 2018, Kansas City Film Festival 2018, Macabro Film Fest 2018, Hidalgo IFF 2017, Linares Horror and Fantastic Film Showcase 2017, Monterrey IFF 2017, Mexico – Germany Film Festival in San Luis Potosi 2017, Torreón National Film Festival 2017, Ensenada Film Festival 2017, Chilean International Short Film Festival 2017, Almería Western Film Festival 2017, Feratum Film Fest 2017, UABC International Film Festival 2017, The Wild Bunch Film Festival 2017, León IFF 2017, Algeciras Fantástika 2017, Montevideo Fantástico 2017, San Luis Potosí IFF 2017.

IMDB

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Los paisajes

original music & sound design

film

year: 2015

duration: 75 min.

country: Mexico

director: Rodrigo Cervantes

script: Rodrigo Cervantes & Santiago Mohar

co-production: Mexico – France – UK; Happy Together / Linterna Films

genre: drama

selections: Morelia International Film Festival 2018, Cabos International Film Festival 2016

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And yet it moves…

original music in collaboration with Adrian Bracho & Antonio Mariscal

documentary – short

year: 2015

duration: 11 min.

country: Mexico

director: Moisés Aisemberg

script: Moisés Aisemberg

genre: documentary

production: Filmaciones de la Ciudad

selection: Guanajuato International Film Festival 2016

IMDB

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Mientras la prisión exista

sound design

film

year: 2015

duration: 68 min.

country: Spain

director: Nicolás Gutiérrez Wenhammar

script: Nicolás Gutiérrez Wenhammar

co-production: Spain – Mexico; Cauce Cine / Cine Frontera

genre: drama

selection: Morelia International Film Festival 2015

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Nunca regreses

original music in collaboration with Rodrigo Hernández

short film

year: 2014

duration: 16 min.

country: Mexico

director: Leonardo Díaz

script: Leonardo Díaz

genre: drama

production: Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica (CCC)

awards: Best Michoacanian Work and Special Prize I.SAT – Morelia IFF 2014, Best Ibero-American Short Film – Guadalajara IFF 2014, Best Mexican Fiction Short Film – Monterrey IFF 2014, Best International Short Film of Mérida & Yucatán IFF 2014, Prize of the Public – Brno Short Film IFF 2015, Best Director – LANTERNA IFF 2015, Best Fiction Short Film – CortoCINEMA National FF 2015, Best Latin-American Short Film – IFF of the Desert 2015.

IMDB

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Los muertos

original music

film

year: 2014

duration: 92 min.

country: Mexico

director: Santiago Mohar

script: Santiago Mohar

production: Purgatorio Films

genre: drama

award: Kukulkán Award Rivera Maya Film Festival, 2015

selections: Oaxaca Film Fest, 2015, 7º Durango International Film Festival, 2015, UNAM International Film Festival, 2015, Morelia International Film Festival, 2014, Mar del Plata Film Festival, 2014

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Aliat – Claro que puedo

original music

internet advertisement

year: 2018

duration: 1:30 min.

country: Mexico

director: Thomas Whitmore

production: Cine Buró

Casa de las Lomas

original music

vox: Claudia Arellano

internet advertisement

year: 2017

duration: 1 min.

country: Mexico

director: Sergio Peña

production: Beat Image

award: Best Music – Pantalla de Cristal, Television/Internet Ad Category, Mexico City (MX).

Flower By Kenzo Travel Book Mexico City

original music & sound design

internet advertisement

year: 2016

duration: 1:15 min.

country: Mexico

director: Santiago Mohar

production: Jazz Group

Givenchy Ange Ou Demon Le Secret Women

original music

internet advertisement

year: 2016

duration: 1 min.

country: Mexico

director: Santiago Mohar

production: Jazz Group

Givenchy Ange Ou Demon Le Secret Men

original music

internet advertisement

year: 2016

duration: 45 seg.

country: Mexico

director: Santiago Mohar

production: Jazz Group