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Sounds of Time & Distance

9 tracks

duration ~ 60 minutes

An album of music for guitar, electronics, and flute

I created the album Sounds of Time & Distance as an opportunity to experience being inside two distinct perspectives: that of performer and that of composer.
A few years ago, I reconnected with playing guitar—the first instrument that gave me access to understanding music beyond the sphere of listening. Simultaneously working out a new composition while hearing myself play guitar offered a different musical exploration that became the impetus behind this album. I chose the guitar as the voice, the through line of each piece. Its presence in the album is a way for me to engage with past musical genres and technologies while also getting to share performer credit with some of my favourite collaborators.
Some of the works in this album were recorded in professional studios and in artists’ personal home studios, stretching the recording over thousands of miles between Utrecht, Ottawa, and Vancouver—across months and seasons of time. The album also includes a recording of me playing in a basement in 1999, using guitars that no longer exist and technology that is obsolete.
Writing and performing music for this album allowed me to engage with memories of when I first encountered specific musical genres and different musics in my lifetime. This phenomenon resulted in this hybrid album, an integration of personal sound origins and influences present in this multi-genre collection, borne out of time and distance.

"Santa Ana does everything here with successful finesse, from performing, composing, recording, mixing, mastering and producing. [...] The musical world of guitar explodes with unexpected new sounds, flavours and effects in this fantastic release.".

-Tiina Kiik

The Whole Note 

"Alfredo Santa Ana’s Sounds of Time & Distance is a fairly comprehensive survey of the things that interest this acclaimed Vancouver composer. It’s also an autobiography in multiple guitars, ranging from handmade nylon-string instruments to long-gone teenage favourites to a flashy Gretsch electric".

-Alex Varty

Stir | Arts & Culture Vancouver

" impressive, beautiful performed and recorded example of where new music for the (mostly) electric guitar is heading in 2022. Great sounds, haunting harmonies and textures, with the odd irresistible groove thrown into the mix. Give this a serious listen."

-Tim Brady

Composer / Guitarist / Artistic Director of Bradyworks

"The album moves effortlessly between genres,

never hesitating to dive into experimental timbres."

-Amy Brandon

Composer / Guitarist / Co-director and Founder of The 21st Century Guitar


  1. Under An Orange Sky

  2. El Nacional

  3. Foundation Visit High Scatter

  4. Wave Remote

  5. Drowning Bulls

  6. Electric Counterpoint (I. Fast)

  7. Electric Counterpoint (II. Slow)

  8. Electric Counterpoint (III. Fast)

  9. Where Else


Music by Alfredo Santa Ana (except tracks 6-9)

Produced, mixed, and mastered by Alfredo Santa Ana

Instruments by Gretsch Guitars except where indicated

1 Under An Orange Sky (2017)
Performance and recording by Alfredo Santa Ana & Michael Ibsen; commissioned by Redshift Music Society with support from the BC Arts Council

2 El Nacional (2022)
Performance and recording by Alfredo Santa Ana

3 Foundation Visit High Scatter (2022)
Performance and recording by Made in Canada Duo (Michael Ibsen & Nathan Bredeson using guitars by Vicente Carrillo [Spain], Ross Chiasson [Canada], Marcus Dominelli [Canada], and Andreas Kirmse [Germany]); commissioned by Made in Canada Duo with support from the Canada Council for the Arts

4 Wave Remote (2021)
Performance and recording by the McGregor-Verdejo Duo (Mark Takeshi McGregor, flute & Adrian Verdejo, guitar), commissioned by the McGregor-Verdejo Duo with support from the Canada Council for the Arts

5 Drowning Bulls (1999/2022)
Performance and recording by Alfredo Santa Ana

6-8 Electric Counterpoint* (1987)
Performance and recording by Alfredo Santa Ana, music by Steve Reich

*Ongoing research continues to trace much of the musical material present in this work to artists and communities in Africa—particularly to the Banda Linda people in the Central African Republic. As a performer of this piece, I acknowledge the significance of this research as it has expanded my own understanding and appreciation of how different musical quotes and techniques present in this work are derived from principles beyond a Western European music tradition. I believe the findings in this research can begin to restore traditions and honour histories that are essential for anyone wanting to assess a fuller understanding of this seminal work.

Recommended reading: Scherzinger, Martin, "Afro-Electric Counterpoint", Rethinking Reich, edited by Sumanth Gopinath and Pwyll ap Siôn, Oxford University Press, May 2019, p. 259.

9 Where Else (2022)
Remix and additional guitars by Alfredo Santa Ana; from an original performance by Square (Edward Top, voice/guitar; Nathan Dillon, voice/bass; James Maxwell, drums, Alfredo Santa Ana, guitar) available on the 2020 EP "Elsewhere"

ASA Records - ASA03

November 25, 2022


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