Day of the Dead, James Bond SPECTRE, LA International New Music Festival, Los Angeles, Southwest Chamber Music, Tambuco Percussion Ensemble
Here’s a Fun LA International New Music Festival Fact: Tambuco is part of the soundtrack of SPECTRE and the largest opening sequence in the history of the James Bond films set for release this November. To Tambuco’s surprise, director Sam Mendes is a huge fan of their work (via YouTube clips) and sent composer Thomas Newman to Mexico City to work on the score with them prior to shooting. Prepare for a percussive opening, that’s for sure!
This gargantuan opening sequence shut down the main square of Mexico City for about a week with thousands of extras, elaborately face painted and costumed for a Day of the Dead chase scene. Newman’s music is performed by Tambuco, who are also on camera during the sequence. We couldn’t be more proud of Tambuco!
“Are those marimbas I hear in Xalapa, Mr. Bond?”
Coming straight today from their studio in Xalapa to the Benito Juarez Airport in Mexico City to LAX bringing a lot of percussion exotica for our LA International New Music Festival, Tambuco is ready and eager to perform here in Los Angeles. I thought I’d share with you images from their wonderful studio, far from the madding crowd of Mexico City in the jungles of Xalapa and Coatepec. They’ve nicknamed their sanctuary the Tambu-cave.
The ride to their studio is gorgeous, with the landscape similar to the Big Island of Hawaii. Miguel Zaragoza lives in Xalapa and looks after the studio for his big cities members Ricardo Gallardo, Alfredo Bringas and Raul Tudon.
Our festival is one of the largest percussion list of instruments you could possibly imagine, as the programs integrate Latin and Asian percussion. It’s all worth the effort to change the location of where we get our new music.
And because Xalapa is where many Japanese composers you will be hearing on July 14 have worked with Tambuco on residency projects and compositions, a little Mexican bamboo out back soothes their East Asian culture shock upon arrival to the Americas.
And about ten steps down from the Tambu-cave front door there is a magical cooling river. If you go to full screen you’ll see a white horse across the bridge.
And here are views to her left and right.
Need a good meal while in you are in a small village outside of Xalapa in Coatepec? Just go with Ricardo to the top of a mountain where there is a family restaurant with delicious trout. Truly fantastic!
The mother of the family cooks when she has a good daily catch and one can order trout about ten different ways. Our choices were sublime and next time we are in the Tambu-cave area we will be sure to order more versions. If you’d like the name, send me a comment and I’m sure Ricardo and Miguel can let you in on this very local secret in Xalapa!
The backdrop of our April visit discussing the LA International New Music Festival opening on Tuesday at REDCAT was the historic handshake of President Obama with President Raul Castro of Cuba. This week, I read that embassies will be established in Havana and Washington D.C., so there is progress.
Which brings me back to our musical embassy building at REDCAT and that big list of percussion instruments. We are doing our best for these concerts this July but also laying down a marker for future collaborations. There simply is an entire world of new music in our own hemisphere that is not represented in the United States. Tambuco and Southwest can act as a change agent with our LA International New Festival. Add into our mix Asia (for these concerts that means Vietnam and Japan, which honor both our ensemble’s work across the Pacific) and you need a lot of sounds for a large cultural embassy of a festival with Los Angeles as a good meeting place.
Concerts are at 8:30 PM with pre-concert talks at 8 PM. Tickets may be purchased at the REDCAT box office, by phone at 213.237.2800 or online at redcat.org. For more information and detailed program information, visit http://www.swmusic.or
See you at REDCAT starting Tuesday, July 7!
Best, best, best,
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