Writes music for live performance, electronic music, and sometimes for films.
Plays guitar in a band.
Since 2003, I have been living in Vancouver, Canada, located in the ancestral Coast Salish territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. From here, I have collaborated with a number of artists and ensembles that I really admire. These include the NYO Canada, Standing Wave Ensemble, Turning Point Ensemble, Orchestre de la Francophonie, the Victoria Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and most recently the vocal ensemble musica intima.
Some recent highlights in my career include having extraordinary artists perform and engage with my music, like Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw, Gabriel Kahane, dancer and choreographer Margie Gillis, and Vancouver indie legend Veda Hille. Through my work, I also get to collaborate frequently with incredible artists and Canadian legends that I also consider great friends, like poet Colin Browne and flautist Mark Takeshi McGregor.
I received my formal training of European Western music tradition at the University of British Columbia where I wrote a string quartet for my doctoral dissertation in 2010 on the idea of impermanent large-scale form, where the form of the piece changes every time it is performed. Shortly after graduating, I became the inaugural composer in residence for the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at UBC (2011-2014), and I became an Associate Composer with the Canadian Music Centre.
In addition to composing for live performers who primarily play in concert halls, I also write music for films, play guitar in an avant-prog rock band called Square, and I also produce and perform as Ghost Shepherd, a music project with my partner, writer Alisen Santa Ana.
In 2021 I released my first album of electronic/ambient music called Nightscape.
If you want to reach me you can send me email me at asa(at)alfredosantaana.ca