Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I have been seriously remiss in not including a link to the very nice website dedicated to the work of the remarkable Guatemalan composer Joaquin Orellana.  This is it, and it's well worth a long visit.   While studying in Buenos Aires in the late 1960s, Orellana became familiar with a state-of-the-art electronic music studio, but on his return to Guatemala City, the then-conventional resources available to him for making electronic music were seriously limited, so Orellana devised acoustical instruments — utiles sonoros (sound utensils) — fashioned out of available local materials, including bamboo, hardwoods, and scrap metal, which he used in place of the banks of oscillators and filters and other modules that were then featured, elsewhere, in analog synthesis studios, as sound sources.  These utensils proved to be much more than simple tools for subsequent tape manipulation, and would frequently be featured as accompaniment instruments to increasingly lyrical melodic material.   

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