COMPOSITIONS

My interest in composition emerged as a consequence of performing contemporary music. My very first attempt at it was when I was 15 but I did not formally have any lessons until 2014 and began having lessons with Patrick Carrabré during my Master’s degree in Composition at Brandon University. I have an affinity towards rhythmically colorful textures and visually-evocative sonic worlds, which often incorporate elements of Mexican folklore and a cinematographic approach to musical story-telling. I am currently pursuing doctoral studies in Composition at York University in Toronto with Randolph Peters, exploring the digital landscape for music-making and humanity’s often pernicious dynamics with the internet.

I like to make music about the Internet with the Internet.

Performances

Koatl Videoscore
08:27
Luis Ramirez

Koatl Videoscore

Koatl, by Luis Ramirez Performed by the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra with Gary Kulesha, conductor Hamilton ON, June 2022 Program Notes: A story of fear and triumph, of evasion and embrace. It begins with a fall through mysterious dimensions of time and space to an unfamiliar place. A glance at your surroundings yields both awe and terror. The walls spring to life with a glistening iridescence. Memories of the past urge you to leave, but you are here for a reason. And so you begin to walk slowly, with trepidation. When it appears, you are not surprised. It seems as though it had always been there. With the majestic creature in full view your eyes meet. Its kaleidoscopic scales scintillate as it slithers toward you with curiosity. Slowly, with grace and ease, it constricts your body in a warm embrace. Protection, at last. Unease creeps in as the embrace becomes tighter and painful. Fear and adrenaline course through your veins as you become aware that its gaze has morphed into a malevolent glare. Freeing yourself from the creature, you run. As you are being chased, space and time are being distorted. The walls vanish, and the omnipotent beast warps you into an unknown dimension to halt your escape. You find yourself alone, panicked, with all the paths only leading you back to the beginning. Paralyzing helplessness sets in as you avoid the inevitable, unthinkable truth. There must be another way. Another solution. Another exit. Finally, you give up the fight and accept your reality. As you gather strength, a new conviction moves you forward. Invigorated, you start running. You resolve to meet your destiny, no matter the consequences. In a final act of faith, you reach out your hand. ============================================================ KOATL was inspired by the myth of the mystical feathered snake, a creature that was both revered and feared by mesoamerican civilizations, like the Aztecs (Quetzalcōātl) and the Maya people (K'uk'ulkan). It was seen as a divine creator with a trickster character that connected the underworld, the earth, and the heavens, and which could offer protection if confronted or conquered. In the psychological context, Carl Jung used the symbolism of the serpent to represent the shadow which resides in one’s subconscious, and which must be embraced and integrated to reach one’s highest possible potential. The resulting piece is a story about the fears, insecurities, and doubts which we all harbour, and the choice to face them which, at one point or another, we all must make.
Doomsurfer - Improvisations on Behavioral Addiction
14:38
Luis Ramirez

Doomsurfer - Improvisations on Behavioral Addiction

Music, video, and performance by Luis Ramirez Commissioned by GroundSwell as part of their 30th anniversary season in 2021-2022 Special thanks to Scott Howarth for letting me use his piano. Program notes: The terms “doomsurfing” and “doomscrolling” emerged as a way to describe the behavior of nonstop consumption of bad news that a lot of people adopted during the Covid-19 pandemic. This behavioral addiction stemmed from the isolation and general gloom that people have experienced in the last couple of years. The already damaging behavior is exacerbated by the designs and interface of the various online platforms. The attention economy drives companies to employ hundreds of people whose job is to keep the user hooked and take advantage of their psychological vulnerabilities for their profit. Addictions develop with the idea that the behavior is protecting us from psychological distress. Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, etc., can all trigger behavioral addictions for us to mitigate our problems and troubles. All procrastination is just like an addiction - you start doing it because you want to have fun, but you continue because you don't want to feel unhappy. Loneliness is the biggest culprit for addiction, and while it is really difficult to escape the doomsurfing temptation when we have our own internal problems, it is even more so with the amount of external tumult and uncertainty in our current world. The struggle begins with our surroundings. The gravitational pull of my phone is much stronger if I wake up next to it, and this accessibility inevitably leads to the rest of my day being mostly unproductive. The morning is typically my best time for ideas and productivity, and the limited bandwidth of our brain can be quickly cluttered if I dive into internet rabbit holes too early on. Once the phone takes over it is really hard to escape, and it feels like a battle for my attention between a productive day and the Internet’s infinite content. I have found that delaying the first interaction with my device by even just half an hour results in me having a much more productive and fulfilling day. Going for a walk, getting direct sunlight in my eyes, drinking lots of water… It is small steps like these that can lead to building good habits and a general improvement in your life. I wanted to represent this struggle with my music and share what I have learned with the hope that it can benefit someone in similar circumstances. #doomsurfer #doomscrolling #piano #depression #newmusic #contemporarymusic
Tango: A Concert by Solidaridad Tango and the Luis Ramirez Quintet
01:53:54
Luis Ramirez

Tango: A Concert by Solidaridad Tango and the Luis Ramirez Quintet

An evening of contemporary tango music from Buenos Aires and Toronto featuring the world premiere of Luis Ramirez's Immigration Suite. The creation of this suite was generously funded by the Ontario Arts Council. Program: FIRST HALF Solidaridad Tango -Variación (2005) - Julián Peralta, Arranged by Aparna Halpé (2021) 2:21 -Bandola Zurdo (Performed 1973) - Leopoldo Federico and Raúl Garello, Arranged by Pablo Jaurena (2021) 7:39 -Maria Rita (2017) - Ramiro Boero 14:51 -Bailar Contigo (2012) - Pablo Estigarribia 19:56 -Agosto (2014) - Julián Peralta 24:24 -Charrúa (2006) - Julián Peralta 29:08 -Eclipse (2021) - Katharina Deissler 32:44 -Pompeya (2016) - Julián Peralta, Arranged by Pétalo Selser (2021) 41:18 Solidaridad Tango is: Aparna Halpé (Violin) Lucia Barcari (Violin) Adriana Arcila Tascón (Viola) Sybil Shanahan (Cello) Heyni Solera (Bandoneon) Sumi Lee (Piano) Shannon Wojewoda (Double Bass) SECOND HALF Luis Ramirez Quintet Immigration Suite (2022) – Luis Ramirez - Éxodo (2020) 1:07:40 - Choque (2020) 1:11:43 - Zozobra (2019) 1:15:28 - Astenia (2020) 1:18:58 - Malicia (2020) 1:21:40 - Espera (2021) 1:25:25 - Infierno (2021) 1:30:18 - Asilo (2020) 1:35:06 - Sola (2022) 1:40:17 - Insidia (2020) 1:46:17 Luis Ramirez Quintet is: Lucia Barcari (Violin) Heyni Solera (Bandoneon) Soohyun Nam (Cello) Shannon Wojewoda (Double Bass) Luis Ramirez (Piano) SOLIDARIDAD TANGO Solidaridad Tango was founded during the pandemic to create fair work, professional development, and performance opportunities for women tango musicians. Solidaridad is the first and only all-woman, diversity-affirming tango orchestra in North America. Working closely with respected tango pedagogues such as Ramiro Boero, Guillermo Rubino, Ignacio Varchausky, and many more, Solidaridad plays tango that is rooted in traditional performance practice, while vibrantly alive in our contemporary moment. In 2022, Solidaridad Tango will release two albums Sos Lo Más, which is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, and Distancia, which is funded by the Ontario Arts Council. Solidaridad will also perform as an ensemble at the Reed Tango for Musicians Festival in Oregon (June 2022) and headline the La Nuestra tango festival in New York City in August 2022. LUIS RAMIREZ QUINTET The Immigration Suite is a collection of ten tangos that examine different facets of life as an immigrant. The overarching narrative follows a somewhat analogous journey to that of seasonal changes and personal growth. Éxodo is the overture, the adventurous departure towards the new land, where we are introduced to every member of the band. Choque reflects the culture clash not only between different traditions but also between old and new. Zozobra is a word for “anguish” or “sorrow”, and it portrays the initial afflictions of leaving your home behind. Astenia means “weakness”, and it illustrates the challenges that come from health issues and loss. Malicia is built with playful rhythms, and it depicts the initial anxieties and apprehension that arise from meeting new people and not knowing their intentions. Espera is about the survival demand for patience and endurance that one ought to have when dealing with the uncertainties of the immigration process. Infierno is the peak of frustration and rage throughout this journey and denotes the hellish nature of helplessness and coping with the circumstances. Asilo is about being able to find refuge even in the most harrowing and bleakest circumstances. Sola is the embrace of loneliness - hitting rock bottom and dealing with depression and despair. Finally, Insidia is the last stage of this journey, but also the beginning of a new chapter. It is about how small everyday actions can have compounding effects in both positive and negative ways. Ultimately, this suite is about resilience and letting go of the past, and tango offers a unique medium to showcase the sense of finding solace in the face of despair. #Tango #Concert #ContemporaryMusic For more information visit: solidaridadtango.ca and www.cutza.xyz

Recordings

Releases