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José López-Montes

López-Montes' music focuses on acoustic, spectral and harmonic exploration, algorithmic processes and synaesthesia. His works merge video synthesis, sonic spatialisation techniques and programming of computer-assisted composition tools, joining elements such as cellular automata, genetic algorithms, generative grammars or data sonification.

In 1999 he founded along with Pablo Heras-Casado an ensemble devoted to sonic experimentation and interpretation of contemporary music, which premiered his ballet La mitad de la verdad está en los ojos, Prize for the Best Original Music of the Theater Festival Palma del Río 2000.

After completing his composition studies in Granada with Francisco González Pastor, he moved to the Hochschule Musik und Theater Zürich to study with Michael Jarrell and Gerald Bennett, who introduced him to sound synthesis. His first acousmatic production was awarded at the II International Prize SGAE of Electroacoustic Music.

López-Montes began to integrate visual counterpoints in his works with Le Ton-beau de Frank, for Farblichtflügel, ensemble and video, a work awarded by the conservatories of Zurich and Berlin. Último estudio para Átanos, for ambisonic tape and video, won the Bourges IMEB Festival multimedia prize. In 2009 he was resident composer at the ICST Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology at Zurich University of the Arts, where he completed the project Badlands to the Skies, for viola, voice, ambisonic tape and panoramic multiprojection, in collaboration with Charlotte Hug, premiered with great success at the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich. His visual music has been documented in many books and studies.

On the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, in 2017 he presented Chasmata, together with the composer Ángel Arranz. The work is a cycle of pieces inspired by the orography and atmosphere of Mars, written for different groups of saxophones (from 1 to 120), electronics, videomapping and massive orchestra of mobile phones. The European Space Agency (ESA) provided scientific advice for the artistic processing of Mars Express data, and contributed participation of astronauts Pedro Duque, from the museum, and Paolo Nespoli, from the International Space Station (ISS), during the concert.

In 2018, as resident artist at the European Southern Observatory in La Silla (Chile), by invitation of CCESantiago, he continued his research about artistic and scientific applications of the sonification of astronomical data, and made recordings and concerts with the saxophonist Íñigo Ibaibarriaga.

In parallel with his compositional work, he regularly appears as a solo pianist. Since 2010, López-Montes composes, adapts and plays along with the visual theater company La Maquiné, performing at Kursaal, Caixaforum, Teatro Real in Madrid or the Gran Teatre del Liceo in Barcelona, among many others, reaching more than 300 performances around four continents. Their play The Forest of Grimm received the Max Prize for the best children show, among other awards. In these works he has successfully integrated the contemporary language in the context of family theater, using extended techniques for piano and electronics.

López-Montes is professor of music technology at the Conservatory of Granada, where he has also taught improvisation, harmony and mathematics. He has offered courses and lectures at Hochschule Musik und Theater Zürich, State University of Londrina (Brazil), Reina Sofía Art Center Museum in Madrid, University of Daegu (South Korea), Staatsoper Stuttgart, etc.

He is researching at the School of Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering (University of Granada) the development and the generalization of artificial intelligence techniques applied to musical composition, continuing his master thesis GenoMus: Prospection of techniques for computer assisted creativity through metaprogramming of musical genotypes.