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Ernesto Martinez

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Mexican native Ernesto Martínez is a 20th-21st century composer comfortable with minimalism, multi-rhythmic polyphony, texture music, electronic enhancements, acoustic layering of instruments, and current contemporary sounds. Born in Mexico City in 1953, Martínez took up composition at the National School of Music, establishing a technique he calls Micro-Ritmia, combining Latin percussive sounds with long tones, repetition, and subtle yet direct melodic and harmonic undercurrents. The compositions and player piano rolls of American Conlon Nancarrow, who lived in Mexico for an extended period, also heavily influenced him. By 1994 Martínez was extending the Micro-Ritmia techniques, further inspired by Balinese gamelan and ethnic folk musics, in collaboration with pianist Eduardo Gonzalez, eventually performing their music one year later in Mexico, Cuba, and the United States, and recording it in 1997. Eventually multiple pianos or percussion instruments, prepared, modified, and acoustic guitars, and marimbas were incorporated into their sound. John Zorn's Tzadik label released the Martínez CD Mutaciónes in 2004. ~ Michael G. Nastos

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1953 in Mexico City, Mexico

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