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Rodrigo Mata

Rodrigo Mata: Sones de la Tierra for solo double bass

Rodrigo Mata: Sones de la Tierra for solo double bass

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1. Itsmo de Tehuantepéc
2. Sotavento Veracruzano
3. Huasteca

About the Composition

Dedicated to the Latin Orchestra of Europe in its first edition (2021) of the international double bass competition. 

Inspired by traditional Mexican music, it is divided into three dances: the first "Itsmo de Tehuantepec" is inspired and based on the "son itsmeño" that originated in the state of Oaxaca, it is a moderate waltz in a minor key, the second "Sotavento Veracruzano", takes its roots from "son jarocho."

A native of the state of Veracruz, it is a very agile dance performed exclusively with pizzicato using some unconventional techniques, imitating a bit the musicality of the arpa jarocha. And the third dance "Huasteca", has been based on the "son huasteco", which originates mainly in the region of the Huasteca Potosina in the state of San Luis Potosí.

This dance is demanding in terms of the agility of the bow and the use of the high register, imitating a bit the phrasing of the violin huasteco. The piece is written in a very traditional tonal form, very simple measures and it introduces very peculiar techniques, such as the pizzicato flageolet, the pizzicato arpeggiato, the combination of natural harmonics with normal notes, among others.

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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