Rodrigo Mata

Rodrigo Mata: In Memoriam for Unaccompanied Double Bass

Rodrigo Mata: In Memoriam for Unaccompanied Double Bass

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By Rodrigo Mata. In memory of Tony Osborne

About the Composition

Commissioned by David Heyes, this piece emerges with all devotion and respect towards the life and work of the great Tony Osborne. It begins stealthily with a pedal note opposed by a simple motif with long notes, around which the whole piece unfolds as a hymn or prayer, without any religious connotation; it is a peaceful and calm piece - just to be quiet and take a moment to think about our past life in contrast to our present life.

It has a simple form in which are presented an introduction, a development, and a restatement. The thematic intensity increases as the piece progresses, taking the main motif from different angles and combinations. Most of the time the harmonic sequence remains suspended, causing a slight and constant tension, resting on the root chord in only a few places. For the most part, two simultaneous voices can be heard, for which natural harmonics are combined with ordinary notes.

This pure and sincere work was created with love for music and for those who make it possible, principally in memory of the great Tony Osborne, but also seeking to enrich the repertoire for double bass.

In Memoriam has emerged sincerely from the heart as deep tones for peace, and seeks to spread this cause to the whole world.

This work has been premiered by Rodrigo Mata himself, both virtual and live, in the forum "Deep tones for peace" created at the initiative of the great bassist Mark Dresser in an online transmission on September 3, 2020, as well as at a live concert in Norwegian Music Academy in Oslo, Norway on September 4, 2020, together with works by great composers such as Giacinto Scelsi, Sofia Gubaidulina, Hakon Thelin, Arvo Pärt and Peteris Vasks. In addition, this work has won 1st place in the 2020 International Society of Bassists composition competition in the solo double bass category.

About the Composer

Bassist and composer born in 1985 in Guanajuato, Mexico, he graduated in double bass at the University of Guanajuato. Concurrently, he studied with Valeria Thierry (Mexico) in Mexico City and, in 2010, completed an academic stay at Mount Royal University in the city of Calgary, Canada, with Sheila Garrett (Canada), John Hyde (Canada) and Rubim de Toledo (Brazil). From 2019 to 2021, he studied for a Master's Degree in Music Performance at the Norwegian Academy of Music with Dan Styffe (Sweden) and Håkon Thelin (Norway). He has received master classes from renowned musicians such as Stefano Scodanibbio (Italy), Bertram Turetzky (United States), Frank Proto (United States), Markus Stockhausen (Germany), Dominic Seldis (United Kingdom), Thierry Barbe (France), Jeff Bradetich (United States), among others.

As a soloist, he has premiered works by contemporary composers in Mexico, the United States, and Norway. He has performed with Calgary Youth Orchestra in Canada, Orquesta de Cámara de Leon, the Norwegian Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonietta, Ensemble 3030, and the Bergen Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. He is currently a bassist in Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Guanajuato, as well as several chamber music and jazz projects. He is conductor and founder of the double bass ensemble "Mushamukas," with which he has premiered works by avant-garde composers and with which, in 2022, he was a beneficiary of FONCA's Programa de Fomento a Proyectos y Coinversiones Culturales. In 2021 he was a beneficiary of Programa de Estímulos a la Creación y Desarrollo Artístico (PECDA) as a creator with trajectory.

As a composer, he has won first prize in the 2020 and 2022 ISB (International Society of Bassist) Composition Contest, first prize in the 2021 FICI (Festival Internacional de Contrabajo Infantil) Composition Contest, and has been the resident composer of the Latin Orchestra of Europe in 2021, his works have been performed in Norway, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, the Czech Republic, Chile, Argentina, Portugal, Germany, Venezuela, Peru, and the United States.

Both as a performer, as a composer, and as a director, he has participated in numerous international events such as the International Cervantino Festival, the Fjord Classics Festival, the International Festival of Contemporary Art, the Callejón del Ruido International Festival, the International Jazz Festival in Irapuato, the Convention of the International Society of Bassists and the Baja California Latin American Double Bajos Festival, to name a few, and has made album recordings with the Tagma Records, Quindecim Recordings and Evidence Classics record labels.

Additionally, he has served as a teacher in the Community Orchestras of the Sistema Nacional de Fomento Musical, Trinitate Philharmonia, and continues as a double bass professor at the University of Guanajuato.

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