updated 10 January 2023

Pedro García-Velásquez

Columbian composer born 28 November 1984 in Bogota.

Pedro García-Velásquez began his studies in music with the violin, before studying composition at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá. He then joined Jean-Luc Hervé’s class at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Boulogne-Billancourt. At the Conservatoire de Paris, García-Velásquez met Maxime Pascal, studied with Frédéric Durieux, and attended the electroacoustic courses of Luis Naón, Tom Mays, Yan Maresz, Yann Geslin, and Karim Haddad. He left in 2008 with a degree in composition.

That same year, with Pascal and four other students, he founded the ensemble Le Balcon during a residency at the Singer-Polignac Foundation and the Athénée Théâtre Louis-Jouvet. This project flowed directly from his interest in developing new concepts for contemporary music. García-Velásquez was artistic co-director of the ensemble and met many influential people through the project, such as computer music director Augustin Muller, sound engineer Florent Derex, and stage director Benjamin Lazar, with whom he composed many pieces for Le Balcon.

One of his central interests lies in the creation of immersive worlds of sound, particularly using 3D sound techniques and binaural sound. He explored this approach with Muller and Derex for two acoustic theater pieces: Lieux perdus (Lost Places, 2014) and Fête dans le vide (Party in the Void, 2015), for which he captured the acoustic fingerprint of dozens of places, such as churches and the ruins of castles, and integrated them into his music. In 2017, he began a residence at IRCAM and ZKM Karlsruhe to pursue his work with Muller. Through exploring acoustic theater, he deepened his research on writing for the binaural, paying particular attention to the characterization of spaces, the possibilities of movement around the sound stage, shared and coherent integration of spatialized musicians in real time, and space-adapted sound designs.

In 2019, Words and Music — winner of the Prix de la Création musicale du Syndicat de la Critique — provided another opportunity for him to work on the creation of an imaginary sound space. The original radio play of Words and Music, written by Samuel Beckett, is a dialogue between words, delivered by talking characters, and music, through an instrumental ensemble whose score has been recomposed several times by different composers. The precedent version, from 1987, was by Morton Feldman. In his own version, García-Velásquez uses electronics to evoke the setting, the ruins of a castle where two characters speak, accompanied by the orchestra and an ensemble of robotic percussion arms using simple materials such as glass, stone, and wood. The latter feature can be found in all of García-Velásquez’s compositions from between 2019 and 2021, namely Commanderie 2019 (2019), Un vaso de dicha (A Glass of Joy, 2020), La Selva Virgen, En La Selva Oscura (The Virgin Forest, In The Dark Forest; 2020), Memorias Robadas (Stolen Memories, 2021), and Desdoblamiento de Selvas (Forests Splitting, 2021).

García-Velásquez is also, along with Lucas Fagin, creator of the BabelScores digital library. Winner of the Prix Pierre Cardin from the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 2016, he has been an associate artist at the Singer-Polignac Foundation since 2022.

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2022


BabelScores, C’interscribo, Ircam, Le Balcon, Hemisphereson.

  • Solo (excluding voice)
    • elec Cras Lucebit for bassoon and electronics (2010), between 6 mn and 10 mn about , BabelScores
    • elec Brujería for alto saxophone and electronics (2011), between 6 mn and 10 mn, BabelScores
    • elec Calcifer comme un rite oublié, for flute and electronics (2011), BabelScores
    • elec Chants souterrains for cello and electronics (2016), BabelScores
    • Guaguancó Metálico for oboe (2022), BabelScores
    • elec Los niños rojos for harp and guitar effects pedal (2022), BabelScores
  • Chamber music
  • Instrumental ensemble music
    • Esperando Llueva for solo percussion, piano, viola, cello and clarinet (2004), between 6 mn and 10 mn, BabelScores
    • Elán for symphony orchestra (2008), BabelScores
    • Juguemos for baritone and ensemble (2008), variable, BabelScores
    • Plop for fifteen instruments (2010), BabelScores
    • Scratched Shadows for video-staged ensemble and electronics (2012), BabelScores
    • elec stage Douve for dancer trio, chamber orchestra and electronics (2013), between 16 mn and 20 mn, BabelScores
    • Ruines for ensemble (2015), BabelScores
    • Rayons solaires Incantation au ciel, for orchestra (2017), BabelScores
    • elec La Selva Virgen, En La Selva Oscura prologue and interludes to Das Lied von der Erde, for chamber orchestra, robots-sculptures orchestra and pre-recorded sounds (2020), BabelScores
    • elec Desdoblamiento de Selvas for ensemble, electonics and robot-sculptures with Marimba de Chonta (2021), BabelScores
    • elec Memorias Robadas for ensemble, robotic sets and electronics (2021), BabelScores
    • elec Words and Music for ensemble, robot-sculptures arms network and pre-recorded sounds (2021), BabelScores
  • Concertant music
    • Sueño de Una Nota for bassoon, two double basses and ensemble (2009), BabelScores
    • elec Moro de Venecia anti-concerto for violoncello, chamber orchestra and spatialized electronics (2013), between 16 mn and 20 mn, BabelScores
  • Vocal music and instrument(s)
  • A cappella vocal music
  • Electronic music / fixed media / mechanical musical instruments

Liens Internet

(liens vérifiés en janvier 2023).