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Estamos Ensemble is led by Thollem McDonas and is made up of musicians from Mexico and the U.S. In Spanish “estamos” means ‘we are’ in the non-permanent sense and reflects the improvisation nature of these tracks, written by composers from both sides of the border.
Voices are often eerie, sometimes warbling without language, sometimes in Spanish, sometimes in English. Instrumentals can vary from crash bang cacophony to sprightly lyricism. Especially intriguing is the riff on 4’33″, underpinned by an idling Border Patrol vehicle. “Jimpani kustakwa ka jankwariteecher” means ‘compositions and improvisations’ in the P’urhpecha language which is spoken in rural areas of Michoacan, Mexico.
I say, ?????yaaah ??yah ??yah ??yah ??yaaaaah ??yaah!??? So there!
an innovative project.
There are nine premieres of compositions written specifically for the ensemble by William Parker, Pauline Oliveros, Nels Cline, Joan Jeanrenaud, Vinny Golia and Thollem McDonas from the U.S. and Ana Lara, Jorge Torres Saenz and Juan Felipe Waller from Mexico. Many of the pieces are from the live performance at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco August, 2010.
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