Obscuras Fronteras


aka Guillermo Galindo


Guillermo Galindo’s composition work blurs the conventional limits that define music and the art of music composition itself. Galindo’s wide approach to concepts such as musical form, time perception, music notation, sonic archetypes and instrumentation span through a wide spectrum of artistic works performed and shown at major festivals, concert halls and art exhibits throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. From symphonic and chamber composition to live performance art and comprising the domains of musical and visual computer interaction, electro-acoustic music, opera, film, instrument building, three dimensional installation, improvisation and sound design Galindo’s work has always remained in constant flux.

His orchestral composition includes two symphonies Ome Acatl premiered in Mexico City by the OFUNAM orchestra (1997) and Trade Routes (2006) commissioned and premiered by the Oakland East Bay Symphony Orchestra and chorus. His operas include two major works: Califas 2000 with text and performance by MacArthur Fellow Guillermo Gomez Peña and Decreation/Fight Cherries f with text by MacArthur Fellow poet Anne Carson. For many years a member and composer of Guillermo Gomez Peña’s Pocha Nostra, a bay area based international performance art troupe, and a resident composer for the Unbound Spirit AADP Dance Company (1992 to 2004), Galindo has developed his own brand of time based performance/ composition incorporating non Western ritual practices and real time application of musical form and narrative using sonic archetypes, architectural resonance and live audience interaction.

Galindo’s chamber and solo electro-acoustic works includes : TX3 (2008) (for cello and recorded tiger sounds) and Haiku II (2003) (for flute and recorded natural ambience) with text by Michael McClure which opened the first series of Latin American experimental music in the U.S. at the The Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Red Cat Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles California

Based on musical practices of indigenous American civilizations Galindo conceives and builds what he calls cyber-totemic sonic objects. Thus focusing on the relationship of sound and meaning occurring between physical objects and the sound they produce. His sonic object MAIZ is first used in the piece Post Colonial Dicontinuum (2006) for chamber and commissioned by the Earplay Ensemble premiered at the Herbst Theater during the inauguration activities of the new DeYoung Museum in San Francisco, California. An article published by Galindo himself in Leonardo Music Journal 17 (2007) explains the theory behind the fabrication of this first cyber-totemic sonic object. Galindo’s wind quintet Voces del Desierto commissioned by Quinteto Latino takes the idea of his cyber-totemic sonic objects a step higher as he writes a piece including instruments made out of personal objects abandoned by the migrants at the U.S./ Mexico border.

Galindo performing with 'Maiz' a musical instrument constructed out
of found and re-employed objects, and electronic equipment

Galindo’s work on modification of physical sonic environments, audience interactivity, three dimensional installation, sound spatialization and acousmatics includes; Transmission Series, a series of 9 pieces focused on the transmission of culture through the information media of sound and radio in collaboration with composer Chris Brown; Glance, an interactive sound and video installation in collaboration with Gustavo Vazquez commissioned by the ISEA/Zero One international science and art festival; DIVOX a multi channel audio piece installation written for the Oasis Sonoro project which included twelve 2 hour pieces to be played 24/7 at the Bellas Artes concert hall esplanade in Mexico City and various new pieces that manipulate the resonant qualities of specific architectural spaces.

Guillermo Galindo presently is a senior adjunct professor at the California College of Arts where he teaches courses on sound art, electronic music, applied composition, action art and musicology. He has worked as a panelist and tutor for the Jovenes Creadores music composition grant in Mexico and is a co-founder and co-curator of the radical POW! action art festival in San Francisco, California.

Some awards granted to Guillermo Galindo include: Center for Cultural Innovation Grant (2011), Gerbodeand Hewlet Foundation Composer Commission Grant in collaboration with Quinteto Latino (2011). City of Oakland Cultural Grants 08, ISEA Zero/One GLANCE installation commission, 2006, Meet the Composer Earplay Ensemble commissioning grant 2005, Sistema Nacional de Creadores Composition Grant, Mexico City 2005-2008, Oakland East Bay Symphony Orchestral Commission “Words and Music Project” Oakland, CA, 2004; Creative Work Fund Media Arts Grant, San Francisco, CA 2003; California Arts Council Composers Fellowship 2000; American Composers Forum Continental Harmony Grant 1999; Residency for Composition at the Bannff Center for the Arts, Canada 1999 among many others.


Voces Del Desierto World Premiere MAR 12-18, 2012

Examples of musical instruments used in Voces del Desierto
Galindo uses a variety of instruments in his performances that he has made
from immigrants belongings that were found at the U.S./ Mexico Border near
Laredo, Texas


musical score