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MP3 Jesus Contreras - When Bounce Comes to Roll

Post-modern orchestral music written for a dance ensemble.

10 MP3 Songs
CLASSICAL: Contemporary, ELECTRONIC: Virtual Orchestra

Funky title? It''s a dance piece that involves a bunch of rubber balls. "When Bounce Comes to Roll" was a commission by Elizabeth Drake-Boyt as part of her Masters degree at the University of Arizona. When Ms. Drake-Boyt first approached me, she was looking for someone to find music that would best fit the choreography of her dance. After seeing a rehearsal of the dance, I decided that no existing piece of music would ever fit her work without making changes to the choreography. So I decided to write the music. Since I was given only a space of 2 to 3 weeks to finish the music and have it ready for the rehearsals, I opted to use my trusty old Kurweil PC88mx to realize the music.

The choreography involved the use of fluorescent rubber balls that are literally bounced among the group of dancers. It is divided into three main sections with the first section introducing the dancers standing in a line side by side trading the balls. After this short exchange of balls, the dancers then split up all while bouncing the balls to the beat of the music. This continues until the second section with solo dancer performing to quiet music. The third section is marked by the rest of the dancers each performing a short solo dance. The piece ends with the dancers returning to the original line of the first section trading the balls as the lights fade out.

The music was for the most part improvised and entirely realized on a sequencing program without ever scratching a note on paper before hand. It wasn’t the first time doing this since I had done several projects for film, but that was during a time when I considered them side projects while I continued my “serious” work on paper, of course. Nowadays, if a few notes fall here or there, it doesn’t matter; it is the end result and realization of the music that matters the most. I don’t see any difference to works being first written down on paper and those works that exist entirely as sequences, or recorded media.

"Scenes from a Ballet" is a piece that served as means of freeing up my own composition processes from the overcritical analysis of each and every note before being set down to manuscript paper. It was an attempt to let improvisation guide the music and to try to make a synthesizer sound less synthesized to my ears. There is no actual story line much less choreography to the music. Rather it was meant to be music inspired by ballet.

One of the things about this piece that I envisioned was that each of the scenes could be performed separately without the other scenes. Another idea was that Scenes three through five could be grouped as a piece for piano and orchestra. Ah, illusions of grandeur are always that: grand. I did intend to write a story for each of the scenes that, in hindsight, would have served a much better guide to composing the music. But at the time, it was more important to eviscerate the mental labyrinth created over many years of over-analysis, over-criticism, and just plain over-kill, so the posterior could proceed unimpeded.

About the Composer:
For over seventeen years, Jesus Contreras has written, arranged and performed music in a number of diverse forms and styles including Latin American, experimental, Jazz, International, Classical, Pop, Rock, Alternative, Electronic, and in numerous media such as film, dance, and theatre. He studied with Pulitzer Prize winning composer William Bolcom, Michael Daugherty, and Evan Chambers at University of Michigan, receiving a Masters of Music in Music Composition in 1996. He studied with Daniel Asia at the University of Arizona, receiving a Bachelors of Music in Music Theory and Composition with a minor in performance on Classical guitar in 1993.

Jesus has taught guitar since 1990 in numerous styles ranging from Classical guitar to pop/rock. He currently heads Mockbrawn Records, an independent label that has worldwide distribution.

Jesus Contreras currently lives in Sebastopol, California, with the intention of getting on track to finding Neverland.

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