“expanding the possibilities of acoustic instruments through electronics.”
helped define a new genre of music, drawing on both contemporary electronica and modern classical, that took hold at the turn of the century. Mexican Fernando Corona’s
highly crafted micro-beats underpin lush orchestral samples in a cinematic style that has been a clear influence on artists such as Marsen Jules, Max Richter and Deaf Center among others. In his latest work, Corona has surpassed the sample–based style he pioneered as he forges a singular pathway into contemporary composition that has more in common with György Ligeti, Coil, Circle or even Sunn O)))
than the micro electronica movement he’s left behind.
Born in 1970 near Tijuana, Fernando Corona’s childhood was spent listening to pre-1900’s classical music and pop – Bach and the Beatles were favorites of his father. As an adolescent, Corona rebelled by listening to 20th century classical, from Stravinsky and the Schoenberg School to Wolfgang Rhim and Giya Kancheli, and early electronic music like Jean Michael Jarre
, Jon Santo
. He later developed a taste for the mid 80’s industrial scene and synth pop. Corona grew up in Ensenada, a small port about 100 miles south of Tijuana on the Baja peninsula, where he studied to become Technician in Analysis and Systems Programming before embarking on his music career full time.
Terrestre was Corona’s first performing and recording project. Under this moniker he created electronica that used elements of traditional Mexican music, and started performing in 1997. He released three Terrestre albums: Plankton Man vs. Terrestre
on Provider Recordings (2002), Secondary Inspection
on Static Discos (2004), and Terrestre vs. Plankton Man
on Nimboestatic (2004).
In 1999, Corona co-founded the NorTec Collective
, a group of Ensenada and Tijuana electronic artists who combined electronica, norteńo and tambora music with visuals. The name NorTec is a combination of "north" and "techno". NorTec music is characterized by hard dance beats and samples from traditional forms of Mexican records including the frequent use of Mexican horns.
Corona soon began making more ambient oriented projects and broke with the group to go solo with his Murcof project. His debut as Murcof was the Monotónu EP
, released through Sutekh's Context label in early 2002.
Murcof’s breakthrough album, Martes
(Tuesday), was released on the Mexican label Static Discos in February 2002. It drew on the works of Arvo Pärt, Henryck Górecki, and Giya Kancheli, and contained samples from Arvo Pärt’s Sarah Was Ninety Years Old, Giya Kancheli’s Vom Winde Beweint, Night Prayers, Morton Feldman’s String And Piano Quintet and David Martinez’s Musica Para El Silencio stretched and distorted over delicate beats. The album was picked up and released by the UK imprint Leaf Records in May of the same year after a chance meeting with Tony Morley at a Leaf party in Barcelona around the time of Sonar 2001 when he was there to perform with NorTec Collective. In 2002-3 Corona played shows all over Europe and North America, including the Mutek and Sonar festivals.
After the enormous success of Martes, Corona released several 12” on Leaf, and an album of remixes, Utopia
. His next full length, the critically acclaimed Remembranza
, was released in 2005. It was a tremendously personal work dedicated to his mother who had passed away earlier that year.
Murcof has since collaborated with a number of artists from different fields, particularly contemporary classical, and has been commissioned to remix both Kronos Quartet and Miles Davis as well as Mexican artist Florencia Ruiz. He has performed with video artist Saul Saguatt at the Imax theatre La Geode. Paris, with musicians Erick Truffaz and Talvin Singh at the Montreaux Jazz festival.
Corona has also worked piano virtuoso Francesco Tristano, performing at the 2007 Sónar festival, and on Tristano’s latest album Not For Piano. Francesco Tristano is one of classical music's rising stars. The album was produced and mastered by Murcof. Corona has also scored three feature films, including 2007’s La Sangre Iluminada
(Enlightened Blood), with further soundtrack work in the pipeline; his music has been used in countless film, TV and dance productions worldwide, and he picked up a Qwartz Music Award in 2006.
> Murcof Website
> Murcof on Myspace
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