ListN Up: Diego Espinosa Cruz González (December 10, 2021)

ListN Up is a weekly series of artist-curated playlists that offer an intimate sonic portrait of contemporary artists by showcasing the diverse and stylistically varied music that influences their creative practice. 

Diego Espinosa Cruz González is an international solo multi-percussionist/sound artist dedicated to expanding the boundaries of contemporary performance practice through sound exploration. He collaborates with composers, artists, choreographers and technicians to develop new pieces, new instruments, and techniques enhancing innovative ways of expression and knowledge. His work cuts across contemporary music, political sound art, improvisation, performance art, rock producer, jazz, and theater/film music/acting. Espinosa has performed in 41 countries collaborating with musicians such as Pierre Boulez, John Zorn, Steve Reich, Patti Smith and Kajia Saariaho, playing in venues like Royal Albert Hall (BBC Proms with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales), Muziekgebouw, Pompidou, and China National Theater.

Hi, I’m Diego Espinosa from Mexico City. The playlist I prepared for you is about some solo pieces I ‘ve played in the last twenty years. I mostly chose live video recordings from concerts, because we all have been missing, during the last months, this energy from live concerts, right? So, I hope you enjoy it and feel free to send any comments to my email, Facebook, or Instagram. Thanks to Amanda Cook and I CARE IF YOU LISTEN for the invitation. Enjoy and stay safe.

How many bodies have we to pass through by Zosha Di Castri and Diego Espinosa Cruz González

Collaborating with Zosha and her husband David Adamcyk was an amazing and smooth experience. It still resonates and will come back, for sure.

Modes of Assisted Ventilation: for intubated flute and electronics by Hugo Morales

I have played more than 10 solo pieces by Hugo Morales, sometimes even being part of the compositional process. This long-term collaboration has expanded my horizons outside percussion instruments, aiming more towards sound, developing new skills and most importantly, sharpening my ears.

Guajex by Juan Sebastián Lach and Diego Espinosa Cruz González

Juan Sebastián and I lived and studied together in The Netherlands, and we have collaborated extensively. In Guajex, I wanted to be able to play percussion with my hands using some custom dented sticks to “bow” objects while controlling the live electronics with my feet. The piece is a designed improvisation.

Zyklus by Karlheinz Stockhausen

Watching Steven Schick live as a teenager is one of the main reasons why became a multi-percussionist. Zyklus is the result of studying with him in Paris. It was awesome!

Pies para qué los quiero II by Alejandra Hernández

Alejandra Hernández was my first marimba teacher, and this piece was my first collaboration with a composer. It includes traditional Mexican tap dancing from Son Jarocho music and a bit of its characteristic improvisatory approach.

Rogosanti by James Wood

This recording is very special. I admire James Wood’s music and creativity. It was a treasure to be able to quickly learn this piece and play it using his original instruments. “Rogosanti” means healing, and it could not be more appropriate for this pandemic era we are living in.

Ursonate by Kurt Schwitters

I have performed Ursonate several times. It is part of my system to the point that I can do it any time. This video is from a theater piece where I was playing Dr. Bennett, one of Oliver Sacks’ patients with Tourette syndrome. I love acting in theater. To me, Ursonate is like a dialogue between many crazy characters.

Mutant Theater by Anthony Pateras

I love the unpredictability in Anthony Pateras’ music. He is a collage master, which demands many simultaneous skills in order to bring out the music and keep the flow of the discourse.

Six Drawings by Randall by David Adamcyk and Diego Espinosa Cruz González

Through the years, this became the BALLOON PIECE. This collaboration with David Adamcyk was a landmark in my career. I learned so much from creating and playing it….  if you want to read more, you can refer to my doctoral thesis : )


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