Manuel Rocha Iturbide/Mexico

Air Waves on the Fields

In this project I will try to explore the interplay of human voices narrating soccer games. Radio is a media where the broadcasters become the central element, because we cant see the game and can only listen to the description of the different actions.
Here, the broadcasting presenters become the players of the game; it’s a new game where they play against each other (not one against one, but all against all). What’s interesting is that they can be chosen from different cultures and different historical times, because radio has been transmitting soccer matches since the nineteen twenties. In this way, as soccer styles have changed, broadcasting vocal rhythms and techniques have also changed. The possibilities of languages and cultural styles are also big, but of course, the piece will be determined by the accessible sound I can obtain from Mexican radio stations archives, possibly from other international radio stations, and from the web. TV sounds are not forbidden, but of course, the vocal activity of announcers in that media is much less compelling because they are transmitting to people that are watching.
Another element to be considered as part of the piece are the advertisements transmitted; they are sound events that have become a structural part of radial soccer transmissions, although I think they have a negative roll in our perception (I hate consumerism advertisement during any sports transmission). Never the less, in this work they could may be transformed into something interesting, becoming then an important part of this new listening experience. On the other hand, the sound of the crowds in stadiums and the referee’s whistle’s will indeed become part of this sound work, although in this case they will be reacting to the diverse narrators interplays. Finally, the structure of my piece can be made as a soccer game that has an interval between the first and second halves, but of course, here it will have another rhythm and will be of course much shorter than a regular one.

Born in 1963 in Mexico City. Manuel Rocha Iturbide studies composition at the Escuela Nacional de Música in the University of Mexico. He studies an MFA in electronic music and composition in Mills College, Oakland California, with Alvin Curran, Anthony Braxton, David Rosenboom and Larry Polansky (1991). In Paris, he takes a one-year course in composition and computer music at IRCAM, where he studies with Bryan Fernyhough (1991-92). In 1992 he starts his doctoral thesis on “Granular synthesis techniques” with Horacio Vaggione at the University of Paris VIII. In 1993 he wins a grant from the Mexican cultural foundation to compose three electroacustic pieces. In France, he works at studios UPIC, GRM and IRCAM to produce works. He worked as a researcher at IRCAM developing GiST (1994-95) and later as a professor at the University of Paris VIII where he taught synthesis and computer programming (1995-96). In 1996 and 1997 he was nominated at the Bourges Electronic Music Contest in the categories of program tape music and tape with instruments respectively, and in 1996 and 1997 he won the second prize at the Russolo Electronic Music Contest in the category of composition for instruments and electronics and tape alone. He has been invited to different international conferences to present his work (The tuning of the world, 1993; The biennial of art and technology, Connecticut 1994; ICMC 1995, 1996, 1997) and to electronic music festivals such as ABSOLUTE MUSIK in Austria, Experimental Intermedia in USA, etc. He has received commissions from the Festival Internacional Cervantino, and other venues, and has received artistic grants such as Jovenes Creadores from FONCA and the Banff Center for the arts. Besides composing, he has realized sound installations, sound sculptures and intermedia art works presented at important international galleries and museums such as Artists Space in NY NY, the Crousel gallery in Paris, the 1998 Sidney Biennial in Australia, the ARCO art fair in Madrid Spain, SURGE gallery in Tokyo, Kyoto Art Center in Kyoto, Avatar in Quebec Canada, etc. His music has been played through the American, European and Asian continents. In 2000 Rocha spent 7 months in Japan with a Japan Foundation Fellowship where he composed new pieces and worked on sound installations. In 2002 he did a two-month residency in Caracas Venezuela with a grant in order to compose a radio artwork. Manuel Rocha Iturbide lives currently in Mexico City, where he works as composer and sound artist.


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