ListN Up Playlist: David Aguila (August 24, 2023)

ListN Up is a 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. 

David Aguila is a performer and composer currently based in San Diego, California, where he is pursuing a DMA in trumpet performance from the University of California San Diego. Aguila’s practice is within the fields of contemporary, experimental, electro-acoustic, and improvised music, focusing on the intersectionality of trumpet, electronics, and music production.

Hello, my name is David Aguila and I’m a performer, composer, and improviser based in San Diego, California. First, I want to thank Amanda Cook and Listn Up for asking me to curate this week’s playlist. And a special thanks to Michelle Lou. Recently, I’ve been very curious about the aspects of texture, and fragility, and tangibility in music. I’ve centered this playlist around this. I’ve had the opportunity to perform with some of these musicians and some are just those who inspire me greatly. I hope that as you listen, you can discover these qualities in their music and also go down the rabbit hole to discover them as artists. Thank you so much.

“A Library on Lightning,” by Ash Fure

I’ve been a big fan of Nate Wooley and his Issue Project Room series For/With. When Sound American released this work, I was not ready for the journey it would take me on. Ash Fure’s A Library on Lightning is filled with complex textures combining, splitting, and transforming the trumpet, bassoon (Rebekah Heller), and double bass (Brandon Lopez).

“Geräusche” by Carola Bauckholt, performed by Ensemble MusikFabrik (Sara Cubarsi, Dirk Rothbrust)

These Lockdown Tapes from Ensemble MusikFabrik were a haven for experiencing live performances during the pandemic. Carola’s exploration of familiarity with these household materials, especially during this time, was an escape from all the other materials filling our screens and ears.

“Parafrisas” by Melissa Vargas Franco, performed by in^set

Founded in 2018 by David Aguila (trumpet), Teresa Díaz de Cossio (flute), and Ilana Waniuk (violin), in^set is a flexible chamber ensemble dedicated to creation, improvisation, and experimentation. It has been a pleasure to realize this work of Melissa’s with in^set. This performance is like entering a cacophonous factory of Willy Wonka’s design.

“SOS” by Natalia Merlano Gomez & Diego Serrano

Almost a reverse beat using silence and noise, developing into an interplay of sonic and visual. “SOS” has an urgency, a grittiness attempting to warn us. The transformation of Natalia’s voice interplaying with Diego’s synths is seamlessly done.

“Inside the Letters” by Hamed Changaei, performed by Kosuke Matsuda

Hamed is a composer everyone should keep an ear out for. A student in the Moasser Music Courses, Hamed composed this for books, voice, and a fan. It’s undeniably powerful, particularly given that it was during the Woman, Life, Freedom movement.

“Facesplitter” by Nicholas Deyoe

Facesplitter is a piece for the one and only Mattie Barbier. Nicholas’s work grabs your attention and Mattie does not release with the array of timbral shifts ranging in intensities at their disposal. This piece is a masterclass in future brass.

“Bakunawa” by White Boy Scream

Micaela Tobin sets the tone of this record immediately in the liner notes: “she dissects her voice through the use of electronics as a means of exploring identity and ancestral trauma. BAKUNAWA is an homage to the pre-colonial mythology of her motherland, the Philippines. Part sonic ritual, part diasporic storytelling.”


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