I was born in Cádiz, Spain, in 1972, spending my youth in four different cities in Andalucía and the Canary Islands. My attraction to the arts and particularly to music ultimately prompted me to pick up the electric guitar and begin my music education at age sixteen.
In 1993 I moved to California to study at Guitar Institute of Technology. In order to practice for my classes I bought a Yamaha QY20, a portable sequencer with which you could arrange songs by inputting chord progressions enabling you to improvise or play along. You could also program melodies with it and so I started using it to compose. Working with the sequencer in this manner piqued my interest in using technology to make music. My compositions did not fit with any of the styles being taught at the institute, such as jazz, funk, rock and others. As I shared my new works with my instructors and colleagues, they encouraged me to continue my studies, so I pursued a degree in composition.
After receiving my certificate at GIT, I attended California Institute of the Arts where I earned my Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in music composition, under the tutelage of Barry Schraeder. He introduced and mentored me through the fundamental concepts in composition, emphasized musical coherence and taught me to always question my artistic decisions. There I became reflective of music through important writings on music aesthetics from philosophers and composers and had the opportunity to study with Morton Subotnick and James Tenney, among others. At CalArts, besides studying classical composition, I took classes in music technology, computer music, and became familiar with the traditional electronic music studio. I also took a few classes in other disciplines and collaborated with students from visual arts, film and animation. My growth was further developed and influenced by having discussions with visual arts colleagues about their weekly critique classes.
I later obtained my Master’s of Fine Arts in music composition from San Diego State University, with an emphasis in computer music. During that time, I attended workshops and lectures by Pierre Boulez, Tristan Murail, Vinko Globokar, Hilda Paredes and Toshio Hosokawa. Following graduation, I had the choice of either to begin my doctorate at the University of California, Santa Barbara and study with electronic music composer and author Curtis Roads, or move to Colombia with my wife, who I had met at CalArts, and begin my career as a professor of music theory and composition. I chose the latter and to this day I remain happy I did.
My ensuing position at Universidad Javeriana in Bogota included teaching composition, 20th century music history and music aesthetics. There, I composed for classical instruments and presented my compositions in different Latin American countries. Later, I was also appointed coordinator of the Department of Composition, a position I held until I left in 2010. During my time there, I set out to understand music in a fundamental way, which drove me to research and draw parallels between music and the visual arts. In preparation for teaching, I researched topics I was interested in — it was like doing a doctorate while having a teaching position. As I repeatedly taught the classes, my perspective grew allowing me to see the overarching patterns buried in 20th century music, the motivations behind the different artistic movements, their relation to historical contexts and similarities between artistic expressions.
My career first received recognition when I was invited to the International Symposium on Musical Aesthetics in 2008, to give a lecture on the commonalities between the works of visual artist Jeff Koons, composer Helmut Lachenmann, and chef Ferran Adrià. Having been invited to this event gave me a sense of fulfillment because I would have been among respected participant scholars such as Enrico Fubini, Maurizio Ferraris and Danielle Cohen-Levinas. Although the symposium didn’t take place due to a natural disaster, I felt privileged to have been included among contributors whom I so admired.
In 2010, my wife and I moved to Miami. Since then I have focused on composing computer music, often for multi-speaker systems, and sometimes integrating different disciplines. I also present my work locally and abroad, and give lectures on contemporary music. My philosophical, technical and theoretical knowledge has coalesced into a personal musical language which I continuously build upon.
Among the works that have been performed at international festivals in Latin America, Europe and the United State are:
Spring Festival of New Music (US) | NWEAMO Festival of Electronic Music (US) | Primer Encuentro de Jóvenes Compositores de América Latina y España (Colombia) | IV Festival Internacional de Música Clásica Contemporánea de Lima (Peru) | IX Festival de Música Electroacústica de Cuba (Cuba) | IX Festival Internacional de Música Contemporánea (Colombia) | different editions of the Subtropics Festival in Miami (US).
I have also worked in collaboration with artists from other disciplines. These works have been exhibited at international galleries and non-conventional venues such as:
Venice Canals Art Exhibition (Los Angeles, US) | Festival Nacional de Cortometrajes (Spain) | The Bijou Theater (Los Angeles, US) | Gallerie Kunstruimte (Berlin, Germany)