I am a Mexican/Canadian composer, and I write music in Vancouver for live concerts, films, and sometimes just for myself.
I have been lucky to have my music performed by a number of musicians and ensembles 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 Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
From 2011 to 2014, I was the inaugural Peter Wall Composer In Residence at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, where in addition to curating presentations on my music, I also collaborated with legendary choreographer and dancer Margie Gillis to create On Fairness, a work for dancer, flute, violin, and cello that has had performances in Montréal, Vancouver, and New York.
Some recent highlights of my career also include the opportunity to write Ocaso, a piece for the National Youth Orchestra of Canada which was toured across the country during the summer of 2015. Last year, I also had the great privilege of working with Pullitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw for Music on Main's "Music for the Winter Solstice" programme. Caroline and an extroardinary group of Vancouver musicians performed my work A Short Song for the Longest Night of the Year which I wrote specifically for this event. In 2011, I was also a Canadian Fellow to the National Arts Centre Composers Programme where my piece Through The Burrow was performed by the Orchestre de la Francophonie, with Jean-Phillipe Tremblay conducting.
Another recent highlight includes my Handel-inspired work with writer/poet Colin Browne, For Pity Divine, which was included as the final piece in Music on Main's The Orpheus Project, a site-specific musical event conceived by Artistic Director David Pay, which allowed audiences to roam an entire theatre discovering rooms filled with original musical creations by other wonderful Canadian composers.
As a composer, I have also had the opportunity to write original music for films that have both premiered and shown at the Toronto Film Festival, Sundance, Morelia Film Festival in Mexico, and most recently at the Busan International Film Festival. In 2007 I received a nomination for a BC Leo Award, and in 2009 won a “Best Soundtrack” award at the Romanian NexT International Film Festival for my work with Canadian filmmaker Jamie Travis.
As much as I love listening to music and composing, I also love learning about music, which is probably why I valued getting a doctorate in music composition at the University of British Columbia. My research at UBC involved composing music with alternate orderings through ‘impermanent large-scale form’ and my dissertation postulated that hearing the same piece of music in different orderings of its formal structure increases a person's listening and aesthetic experience. The dissertation experimented with unfixed structures in music, and I created a multi-version string quartet called Passenger which I continue to be very proud of.
In addition to composing music, I have also worked as an arts administrator and was recently the General Manager at Vancouver's Music on Main, an incredible organization that will present the ISCM World New Music Days in 2017 in Vancouver, and brings social engagement as an essential part of its concert formats and programming. I have also sat on the board of the Redshift Music Society and the Turning Point Ensemble, and look forward to continuing to be engaged in the collective task of creating a vibrant artistic community for my city.
I am also an Associate Composer with the Canadian Music Centre, a member of SOCAN, and a member of the bands Ghost Shepherd, which has recorded in Vancouver since 2005, and most recently became a member of the band Square along with Edward Top, James Maxwell, and Nathan Dillon.
In addition to what I've written about myself in this page, I also have a third-person bio (which I wrote), and I am happy to share it here.
If you want to send me an email me please email me at asa(at)alfredosantaana.ca.