Andres R. Luz

Composer's Biography: Harnessing the chugging, energetic sounds of contemporary Post-Modernism, Andres R. Luz (b. 1974) develops his artistic idiom from the legacy of music history stretching back to Medieval and Renaissance stylistic practices, up to those of the present-day. Mr. Luz has studied with Jeffrey Miller at California State University, East Bay (B.A. Music, magna cum laude, 2013) and taken private studies in electroacoustic music with Ian Dicke, as well as master classes with Hannah Lash, P.Q. Phan, Zae Munn, and Paul Salerni. Andres Luz completed the Master of Music Composition at the University of Redlands in 2016, studying with Anthony Suter and Andre Myers. Andres Luz is currently pursuing the Doctorate in Musical Arts in Composition at the University of Georgia, Athens, and providing support for the Dancz Center of New Music at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music. He is studying with Adrian Childs, Peter Van Zandt Lane, and Emily Koh. Andres R. Luz is a member of ASCAP and is published by Post-Classical Music.

Selected Compositions � Church Sonatas 1-3 for mixed chamber ensemble (2010) � Les M�moires Pathog�nes de Taenia saginata for two alto saxophones (2010) � bulacan_polymorphic for solo marimba and mixed ensemble (2011) � Succ1nct for solo viola (2011) � Black Aulos for two oboes or two english horns (2011) � Dedication for solo flute and two violins (2013) � here comes Tomorrow for clarinet, violin, viola, and piano (2013) � Bagatelle for string quintet (2013) � Jota Ilonggue�a for string quintet (2013) � Process_Anomalies for two soprano saxophones (2014) � Kyrie, Eleison for a cappella SATB choir (2015) � Bagatelle for two flutes and piano (2015), Selected composition--MAN Trio Call-for-Scores. � ASCH for solo piano (2015) � South Bend Microfanfare for alto saxophone and trumpet in Bb (2015) � Surveillance State for soprano, alto saxophone, fixed media, and live electronics (2015) � [Micro/Industrious] for chamber orchestra (2015) � Finalist, 2016/17 Redlands Community Orchestra Composition Project � Twisting, Grinding Steel for brass quintet (2016) � Ascent for concert band (2016) � Soundtrack music to Cubicles (2016) � El Perdido for solo voice, fixed media, and live electronics (2017) � Premontions, Landscape and Twilight for fixed media (2017) � Petit Hommage a Ren� Magritte for fixed media (2017) � Sanctus et Benedictus in the Old Style for a cappella SATB choir (2018) � ring modulation for brass quintet (2018) � Modular_Duet for saxophones and dice (2018) � The Kapre � the Tree Giant for piano, 4 hands (2018) � Hommage � Hector Berlioz for solo violin, fixed media, and live electronics (2018), Quintet for Brass (2019), Enigmatic Improvisation for flute and electronics (2019), Bulosan: On American Democracy for Narrator and Wind Symphony (2021)

Composer's Note: The progress of my own musical journey traces an unlikely path. I began my professional life, not in music, but in biotechnology as a laboratory analyst. I did not become involved in music until college when I straddled between studies in biology and singing in the choral ensembles at UC Irvine. This contest between science and music continued after graduating: while my daytime hours were spent in the laboratory, my evening hours were spent studying instruments, theory and composition from the local community college, and independent readings in music history and orchestration. In 2013 while continuing to work full time, I completed a second bachelor�s degree studying composition with Jeffrey Miller at California State, East Bay, with magna cum laude honors. After 16+ years I retired from biopharma and made a full transition to study music in 2014. I completed the Master of Music Composition at the University of Redlands in Redlands, CA, in 2016, having received instruction from Anthony Suter and Andre Myers. At this time, I was also inducted into the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, Sigma Chapter, at the University of Redlands. Presently, I am pursuing the Doctorate in Musical Arts in Composition at the University of Georgia, Athens, with a graduate assistantship focusing on electroacoustic composition and providing technical support and maintenance for the Dancz electronic music center at UGA.


Quintet for Brass, op. 15 (2016-2019)
Quintet for Brass, op. 15 (2016-2019), is composed of four short movements which explore sonorities and effects distinct to brass instruments. The first movement, Grinding, Twisting Steel, is characterized by fast, harsh textures evoking unrelenting and grating masses of the durable, sturdy alloy. The mood is at first oppressive and then brooding and menacing. The idea for the piece was conceived in late 2014 from banter between my fellow graduate students and my composition professor at seminar when we noted that there were not very many well-known compositions that begin with shrill sonorities unfolding at a breakneck pace, such as Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin Suite. Here is my tongue-in-cheek contribution to that discussion topic, composed a year-and-a-half later. I set aside plans for this quintet until 2018 when I wanted to explore Claude Vivier’s technique for ring modulation as featured in his orchestral work with soprano voice, Lonely Child (1980). Here, mathematical calculations based upon two frequencies that are at times combined or subtracted from one another yield additional sound frequencies requiring the performers to play microtones. A few months later, I completed a short second movement intermezzo to serve as a buffer between the eruptive first movement, and the dense third movement. This unexpected amalgam of an intermezzo combines the enigmatic scale collection (1 – b2 – 3 - #4 - #5 - #6 – 7) used in Verdi’s setting of the “Ave Maria” with a trombone harmonic glissando found in Bartók’s second movement of the Violin Concerto no. 2 (1937-1938). The fourth movement is a postmodern romp that traverses various styles within its short 5.5 minute duration. Inspired by Renaissance-era brass writing, there is much localized contrapuntal imitation that connects each of the voices with one another. However, instead of remaining within the modal framework of that style, this polystylistic piece moves through some dissonant modernist territory contrasted with episodes evoking styles ranging from early 20th century Neoclassicism; German Oktoberfest Brass music; spare, quasi-minimalist textures; a stuttered quotation of the opening motive to Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto no. 1 in B-flat minor, op. 23 (1875); a free version of early 20th century free atonality; and finally a self-quotation from the first movement of this quintet. All-in-all, this movement serves as a breezy essay needed to unwind from the relatively serious content of the three movements that precede it.
Enigmatic Improvisation for flute and electronics (2019)
Jackson Pollock’s early surrealist work, Guardians of the Secret (1943), is displayed in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and serves as the inspiration behind Enigmatic Improvisation for solo instrument and electronics, op. 16 (2019). The painting exudes the mystical air of an ancient, shamanistic scene verging on the apocalyptic. The shadowy armored sentinels standing guard in their protective display of the secret image, appear surreal and menacing in their wild depiction. A lone coyote, the spirit animal of dark magic and trickery in some Native American cultures, rests beneath the enigmatic relic with a watchful eye. Given these elements, I crafted the fixed media background with a similarly weighty intensity to conjure an ominous and clamorous landscape that defies comprehension. Disembodied whispers, animal cries, crashes, and subsonic eruptions depict the nocturnal absence of reason in the first movement, entitled Guardians. This gives way to the transparent, diaphanous textures found in the meditative Mythos, portraying the radiant luminosity of the mysterious, secret artefact in a loosely unfolding prolation canon. The final movement, Emergence, proceeds with a dark grandeur and transcendent epiphany, an unexpected awareness and wonder for the titular secret at the heart of this work.
Premonitions, Landscape at Twilight for fixed media (2017)
Premonitions, Landscape at Twilight for fixed media is based upon Salvador Dali’s pastoral, Spider of the Evening (1940). In this work we see the painter’s signature depiction of misshapen figures: a stretched female nude, a molten cello, and a softened airplane; each of which have lost their familiar rigidity, existing beyond the boundaries of conscious reality. These are cast before long shadows in an arid landscape at sundown. Amidst the leafless olive tree, the weeping cherub, and the two lonesome figures dancing a dispirited Spanish sardana, we are witness to a scene that is both apocalyptic and tragic. Salvador Dali drew from French peasant folklore which claims that the sight of a spider in the evening was auspicious, a sign that must have filled the artist with the hope for a speedy end to armed conflict. However, history shows that the war was still to proceed for another five tumultuous years, the worst of the devastation yet to unfold. In our time, the U.S. has been at war continuously for numerous years. Although much has been done to dominate and suppress our adversaries to preserve our way of life, much has also been spent in the cost to life, limb, peace of mind, and property for an incalculable many along the way. In our time, there is talk of endless war. In our time, there are those who wield great power and influence to profit from the pursuit of war at the expense of untold others. There are never any easy solutions to dire political conflicts, but there are arguably far fewer persuasive justifications for the scale of terror and destruction that affects innocent, vulnerable lives as a consequence of war.
Kyrie, Eleison for SATB choir (2015)
Kyrie, Eleison for a cappella SATB choir, op. 8 (2015) was composed in memory of my aunt, Maria Teresa Luz, who passed unexpectedly, and far too early, in 2013. The work begins with staggered, polyphonic entries by each of the voices, descending in stepwise fashion to outline a scale fluctuating between F minor and F-Lydian dominant. The tonal ambiguity and continual descent of the voices conjures an atmosphere that straddles between solemnity and restlessness. In the next episode, the pleas rise up and down in an earnest c minor until they unify homophonically in a dramatic ascent, as if demanding to be heard. The accumulating tension becomes so palpable in their cries that the ensuing appeal for mercy draws the voices downward in a profound and hushed humility. As with the Father, so with the Son, but with a markedly different character: the opening to the new section is nearly identical in voice leading, but now the tonal center is lowered a minor third, in a gentle and comforting D major. What results is a prism of colors one sees as when light is refracted through a precious gem slowly turning. Then, as if by some epiphany, a lone soprano voice appears suddenly, wafting above the masses to illuminate a scorched world. The remainder of the section mirrors the first, but proceeds more assuredly. A return to F minor in the third section is conflicted and anxious as the entreaties for mercy become more poignant with strident dissonances and denser textures. The landscape is bleak, like some modern Golgotha painted by Breughel. Despite these clashing, clamorous harmonies, the tenor line outlines a chromatic ascent: though there is pain and agony, the experience is purifying, and someday there will be healing.