Post-colonial Discontinuum (2005) by Guillermo Galindo
for maiz, violin, cello, flute, clarinet, piano, and percussion
World premiere; Earplay/Meet the Composer commission

In search of a hybrid 21st-century post-Mexican art form that reconciles contradictory concepts such as primal instincts, animism, and mythology with contemporary science and technology, I decided to create an integrated art form that works as a conduit that truthfully reflects my hybrid reality as a contemporary artist, a human being, and a post-Mexican composer living in the US.

Maiz, my first "cyber-totemic" object, was built using a set of found recombinant objects that have a personal meaning and close relationship to my life. Pre-Colombian cultures believed that the sound of physical objects is linked to their existence and therefore to their spirit. In pre-Colombian times, instruments were built from well-chosen physical sources such as a sacred tree or the hair of a sacred animal. The sorcerer had a close relation to these objects. The sound that the objects produced was not separated from the object; therefore the object could not be separated from its deeper meaning.

Maiz, a cyber-totemic device controlled through a computer, produces mechanical sounds from the object itself. The challenge of writing a piece that combines a hybrid electro-mechanical cyber-totemic object with a chamber ensemble is an attempt to establish a dialogue of reconciliation between order and chaos, music and noise, the primitive and the civilized, science and religion, the real and the unreal, North and South, the Dark Ages and the Enlightenment.

— G. G.    

[from program for August 31, 2007 concert]