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Gabriel José Bolaños is a Nicaraguan-American composer of solo, chamber, orchestral and electronic music. He frequently collaborates closely with performers, and writes music that explores unusual structures and timbres. He is interested in computer-assisted-composition, auditory perception and linguistics. His recent music engages with theories of ecological listening: how our sense of hearing evolved primarily to interpret our environment. He enjoys listening to music by Harvey, Furrer, Ligeti, Grisey, Cerha, Romitelli, Messiaen, Os Mutantes, Simon Diaz, Sabicas and Bach.
Bolaños received a bachelor's in music from Columbia University and a doctorate in music theory and composition from University of California-Davis. His principal composition teachers include Mika Pelo, Pablo Ortiz, Laurie San Martin, Fabien Lévy and Sebastian Currier, and he studied orchestration with Tristan Murail.
Before coming to ASU, he was visiting lecturer at Bates College for the 2018-2019 academic year and taught courses in music theory and music technology. As a 2016-17 Fulbright Visiting Scholar in Nicaragua, he was composer-in-residence and visiting conductor for the UPOLI Conservatory Orchestra, and visiting professor at the UPOLI Conservatory of Music. He is co-founder and artistic director of Proyecto Eco, Nicaragua’s first new-music ensemble. He has also helped organize artistic and cultural exchanges between U.S. and Nicaraguan musicians. Beyond his work as a teacher and composer of concert music, he has also written music for film, theater and dance, and has experience performing as a flamenco dance accompanist.