Sergio Cote
Cornell University

Trapiche - thoughts about its creative process
Instruments are defined as instruments when the technological object interacts with the human body. In other words, only the human body demarcates what a musical instrument is. From this perspective, though, what makes us think that an instrument is damaged? One option is that the object is unable to produce what the human being wants it to produce: the instrument is incapable of producing the sounds that the human being has attached to it. This is the first point from which Trapiche is conceived: working with a damaged instrument bringing it to live. However, instead of rebuilding the player piano to a fully functioning state, the process here was that to recuperate parts of the mechanism to highlight the corporeal gestures inherent to the player piano as a musical instrument and its intrinsic sounds. The second point of Trapiche is the identification, categorization, and construction of new pairs of gesture-sound, allowing new sounds to be attached to the player piano aside from its automatized nature, which has been historically accepted as the reference of well functioning (a player piano only works when it is able to reproduce music from its paper rolls). The third point is the process of pairing these new gestures-sounds of the player piano with another musical instrument, in this case, the piano. Throughout the piece, the two performers deal with different levels of communication interacting aurally and physically from its instruments. This interaction is enriched by the acoustic manipulation that uses contact microphones and surface speakers to situate and affect the sound of each instrument with the sound of the other.

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Sergio Cote studied composition in Bogota, Colombia (2006-2011) in the Javeriana University with Guillermo Gaviria and Carlos Julio Ramirez. In 2015 he completed his masters degree at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Manchester, UK, under the tutelage of David Horne and Adam Gorb. He has had additional lessons with Magnus Lindberg, Brian Ferneyhough, and Javier Torres-Maldonado. His music has been performed and commissioned worldwide by ensembles such as International Ensemble Modern Academy, NeopercusiĆ³n, Mise-en Ensemble, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia. He has been awarded the Colombian National Prize for Young Composers (2011), the Royal Northern College of Music Gold Medal, and the Scholarship to the Creation of Contemporary Music awarded by the Colombian Ministry of Culture in 2014. He is currently enrolled in the DMA in composition at Cornell University studying with Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri and Kevin Ernste.