Temazcal – The art of percussion

“Temazcal” is a contemporary piece of percussion music composed in 1984 by noted Mexican musician Javier Alvarez. Elliot Gaston-Ross presents the first interpretation of this traditional Venezuelan macara piece in the context of contemporary Western art.
Traditionally, maracas are taught in Latin American countries through imitation. Children play together with maraqueros (macara masters) from an early age and learn from them. The musicians then perfect their techniques throughout their entire lives and master the instrument without the support of musical notes. For the Western percussionist, who has a background in orchestral and contemporary solo percussion, learning the piece required an in-depth study of the instrument and its role in Venezuelan art.
With four 4K projectors, a popular scenery in the Ars Electronica Center provided an ideal setup for the production of a music video. The enormous dimensions of Deep Space 8K resulted in tremendous shots that really showcased Elliot Gaston-Ross along with complex visuals: Ars Electronica Futurelab visualist Florian Berger‘s complex technical solutions for responding creatively to the tensions in the music offered plenty of freedom and flexibility. Complex lighting moods simulating the natural force of a thunderstorm and an undulating particle system set Elliot Gaston Ross’s percussion performance at the Lab’s birthday celebration and Night Performances on Futurelab Day, September 9, in an impressive setting.

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