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Rodrigo Mata

Rodrigo Mata: La Paix for solo double bass

Rodrigo Mata: La Paix for solo double bass

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About the Composition / December 2020

"La Paix" is a work dedicated to the legendary double bass player, pedagogue, and composer Francois Rabbath, who throughout his career has made a great musical contribution in different ways both in his teaching techniques, his compositions, and his multiple recordings of excellent quality. 

This piece takes its name in reference to Rabbath's piece entitled “La Guerre et la Paix” (The War and the Peace) for solo double bass, tries to extract only a part of this title, highlighting what the French word “paix” (peace), giving importance to one of the most representative languages for the Master, French, and seeks to translate these features into a new musical idea.

The piece is written in a very particular way and secretly introduces some compositional characteristics of Rabbath's music, such as the contrasts of energy, the motifs that spread repeatedly, giving rise to the gradual appearance of a powerful climax, the character tempestuous, the use of arpeggios and agility in the use of the bow, these elements are intertwined with a contemplative theme using double stops with the real note and natural harmonic, a spaced introduction that comes from far away, executed with the flageolet pizzicato technique and the ricochet and finally a coda that takes up the main theme to end with a substantial chord, showing the low end and the high end of the double bass register and the combination with the left-hand pizzicato.

This work has been commissioned by master David Heyes for one of his excellent commissioned projects, the celebration of the 90th birthday of the great Francois Rabbath.

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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