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Rodrigo Mata

XochipItzahuatl for solo double bass (arranged by Rodrigo Mata)

XochipItzahuatl for solo double bass (arranged by Rodrigo Mata)

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History of the Composition

XOCHIPITZÁHUATL is a 'son' interpreted with a mystical-ritual sense in honor of Mother Earth, however, with the arrival of the Spanish people it was replaced by the Virgin of Guadalupe (Tonantzin) whose name is heard in Spanish in the lyrics of this "son".

When speaking of Xochipitzahuatl, allusion is made to song, music and dance, which are performed in different traditional rites of the Mexican towns where Nahuatl is spoken, although the most deeply rooted area is in La Huasteca. In some rites, Xochipitzahuatl is usually sung, but in the 'Xantolo' (día de muertos), it is performed without singing to thank the gifts and to purify men.

The word 'Xochipitzahuatl' comes from two Nahuatl words, 'xochitl' which means 'flower' and 'pitsahua', which means 'thin', that is to say 'thin flower' or 'small flower'. In Mesoamerican cultures, the flower is one of the most important symbols, since it is present in the images that represent the entire world. Likewise, the flower is associated with song, speech, dance, music and all art; but also to the heart and, therefore, it was offered to the gods. This arrangement of Xochipitzahuatl for double bass is nothing more than a personal offering for life and for all of you.

Form of the Composition

The structure of the piece is very simple (AABB) and in this arrangement it has been sought to develop in a slightly more elaborate way, adding an introduction with a new harmonic sequence based on the original one and some sonorities have been explored from the use of the soft mallets on different parts of the double bass and the use of the same fingers playing different types of pizzicato.

In the last section, part of the introduction is re-exposed and connects with an open section to improvise on rhythmic patterns, asking for a subtle touch of theatricality to be applied towards the end.


The techniques used in this arrangement have previously been incorporated into the repertoire by composers such as H. Thelin, S. Scodanibbio, P. Boivin and J. Druckman, to name a few.


Performed by Rodrigo Mata In Casa Museo Gene Byron, Guanajuato, México October 2021

About the Arranger

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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