Leymis Bolaños Wilmott
photo credit: Sorcha Augustine
Digital Dance and Music Featuring a world premiere by Leymis Bolaños Wilmott, José Martínez’s 39 Inside, and works by New College dancers and musicians
New College of Florida is known for students engaging in creative work side-by-side with their faculty members, discovering new territory and modes of expression. New Music New College is an artistic laboratory for this creative process.
In this video series, premiering in October on this page, we explore works for electronic sound and dance by NCF faculty Leymis Bolaños Wilmott, Mark Dancigers, and our new Visiting Assistant Professor of Music José Martínez, as well as original digital dance and music by current New College students.
The fascinating connection between music and dance, and their shared languages of change and motion, is the inspiration for new works created by NCF students as well as Bolaños Wilmott and Dancigers. Ancient theories of music stress that change itself is the source of motion—when a melody or rhythm changes, music moves.
But what about the motion of moving people? Music can be heard to embody this motion as well. As Marc Leman has discussed in The Expressive Moment: How Interaction with Music Shapes Human Empowerment, recent studies show that the movements a musician makes to create a sound can be very accurately tracked by listeners even when they can’t see the performer!
photo credit: Julia Gang
José Martínez’s powerful, stunning 39 Inside also features electronic and instrumental sound and dance, exploring themes of migration and borders. Martínez writes, “On July 23rd, 2017 during the scorching Texan summer in San Antonio, police identified a suspicious semi-trailer parked at a Walmart. Inside, they found thirty-nine undocumented migrants, eight of them dead. Apparently, forty more left the truck before police arrived. Based on these true events, I have created a piece that tells the unheard details of this and other similar journeys. This work is created as a choreographed piece of music where the only element of scenery is an open, rectangular, aluminum structure, half the size of a real semi-trailer. The music encompasses live musicians interacting with computer-made sounds and complemented by prerecorded first-person accounts in Spanish. The video content, projected on one of the front sides of the structure, supplements this dire story, pulling from both abstract and real content. 39 Inside is a grim submersion into the issue of undocumented migration that will take the audience closer to the experiences lived only by those who dare to take this perilous journey; one that might end in deportation or death.”
“El 23 de Julio de 2017 en medio del abrazador verano Tejano en San Antonio, la policía identificó un semi-trailer sospechoso parqueado en un Walmart. Dentro encontraron treinta y nueve migrantes indocumentados, ocho de ellos estaban muertos. Según testigos, cerca de cuarenta más se habían ido para cuando la policía llegó. Basado en estos eventos, creé un proyecto que relata los detalles no-contados de esta y otras historias similares. Esta obra esta pensada como una pieza coreografiada, donde el único elemento escenográfico es una estructura de aluminio abierta y rectangular que imita al semi-trailer. La música reúne intérpretes en vivo que interactúan con sonidos diseñados digitalmente y que se complementan con narraciones en español pregrabadas. El contenido visual que es proyectado en uno de los lados de la estructura, complementa esta historia fatídica, y presenta contenido abstracto y concreto. 39 Inside [Encontraron 39] es una oscura inmersión en el problema de la migración indocumentada que intenta llevar la audiencia más cerca a esas experiencias vividas sólo por aquellos que se atreven a realizar tan peligroso viaje; un viaje que pudiera terminar en deportación o en muerte.”
Leymis Bolaños Wilmott is a Cuban-American artist, mother, and teacher with rhythm inextricably in her bones found her voice through dance at an early age. As the Founder and Artistic Director of Sarasota Contemporary Dance, she has the privilege of using those bones to create art that has been called “stunning and imaginative” by Carrie Seidman of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. As Artist-in-Residence at New College of Florida, she has the opportunity to share her love of dance and to be an influential member of Florida’s dance community. Featured in Sarasota Scene Magazine’s Arts & Cultural Issue: Ladies of the Arts, Leymis has been the recipient of numerous artistic achievement and leadership awards throughout her career. She was honored to receive the Dance Magazine award for “Southeast Best Choreographer” and was listed in Sarasota Magazine as one of the Top 28 Most Powerful People in the Arts. Her 80+ dance works include collaborations with artists and organizations of various disciplines from musicians to museums. Collaborative highlights include: Sarasota Orchestra, Choral Artists of Sarasota, Westcoast Black Theater Troupe, Asolo Rep, Salvador Dalí Museum, Kaleidoscope, John and Mable Ringling Museum, Art Center of Sarasota, Stephen Miles of New Music New College, composer Eduard Cosla, percussionist Scott Blum, Mark Dancigers of NOW Ensemble, multitalented Francis Schwartz, and legendary principal harpist, Ann Hobson Pilot. Her works have been performed nationally at the John F. Kennedy Center, Ailey Citigroup Theater in NYC, Colony Theater and Jackie Gleason Theatre in Miami, and internationally in Ramallah, Argentina, and Spain.
José Martínez’s music incorporates a wide range of influences from Colombian folk tunes to contemporary composition techniques, while borrowing from Latin music, heavy metal and audio sampling techniques. His works range from solo pieces with electronics to orchestral works, passing through chamber ensembles, electroacoustic pieces, and interdisciplinary collaborations. Among others, his music has been performed by groups such as Alarm Will Sound, Wild Up, Grammy award-winning quartet Third Coast Percussion. An alumnus in percussion and composition of the National University of Colombia, he studied composition at the University of Missouri and UT Austin. José was Visiting Professor at East Carolina University, and recently was appointed Visiting Professor at the New College of Florida.
José’s music has also been presented by Spanish ensemble Taller Sonoro, LA based Piano duo Hockett Duo, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s from New York City, Grupo de Cámara de Bogotá, and Austin based percussion ensemble Line Upon Line, among others. He has participated in institutes and festivals such as Banff Ensemble Evolution program, DeGaetano, Splice , SEAMUS, Missouri International Composer Festival, Line Upon Line Winter Composer Festival, ClarinetFest, and VIPA.
José is a recipient of the 2008 National Composition Prize for Young Composers, the 2011 “Ciudad de Bogotá” Composition Award, and the 2013 National Cultural Prize. In the US has received the 2013 Sinquefield Composition Prize and the 2019 Rain Water Grant for Innovation. He is part of the C3 Collective and also artistic director of the concert series Stack Overflow that creates opportunities for composers interested in electronics.
Support for this season was provided by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.