The Guitar as a Laboratory for Experimentation


  • Camilo A. Mendez San Juan Hong Kong Baptist University



electric guitar, prepared instruments, extended techniques, notation, compositional techniques


In this article, I will discuss the role of the electric guitar in the conception, development and composition of three recent works: Recessional Motion, Flexidra IV, and Volpi/Formentera. In Recessional Motion, I will address compositional, technical and notational issues to explain the underlying creative process. In Flexidra IV, all the pre-compositional materials were the result of extensive experimentation sessions with electric guitars, pedals and found objects that subsequently were extrapolated to other instruments to generate the instrumental textures. In Volpi/Formentera, the electric guitar is at the centre of the compositional processes and all the musical parameters orbit around it. I will examine in detail how the different preparations and instrumental textures were derived from my own "˜exploratory sessions' presenting possible solutions to notate the necessary actions to produce the sounds in the guitar.


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Biografia do Autor

Camilo A. Mendez San Juan, Hong Kong Baptist University

Camilo Mendez is a composer of acoustic concert music. He conceives his works as compositional cycles; series of pieces orbiting around the same musical ideas, but written for different instrumental combinations. He completed a Doctorate and a Master's in advanced composition at the Royal College of Music in London. He has also studied privately with Rebecca Saunders and Pierluigi Billone. In 2017, Mendez was the Rieman and Baketel Fellow for Music at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. His music has been performed by ensembles and soloists who specialize in contemporary concert music and has been featured in such international festivals as Festival Internacional Cervantino, the International Summer Course for New Music Darmstadt, June in Buffalo, Klasik Keyifler, the Mallorca Saxophone Festival, and Next Generation Donaueschingen. In 2009, he was awarded the Colombian national prize in composition for his work Tropical Textures VI. He has held residencies at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and Willapa Bay AiR. Dr. Camilo Mendez, joined the Department of Music at HKBU as Assistant Professor in 2018. ORCID:


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Como Citar

San Juan, C. A. M. (2020). The Guitar as a Laboratory for Experimentation. Revista Vórtex, 8(3), 1.10.