Mexican-dutch composer Juan Felipe Waller's official homepage. His compositions often reflect a discourse between harmony and texture put through a 'lens of deformation'.

Download BiographyMore downloads / languages share on Facebook / Twitter
Mexican-dutch composer Juan Felipe Waller (1971) was brought up in Mexico in a  blend of cultures from his parents’ mixed backgrounds. He first studied music in Mexico City at the Music Study and Investigation Centre (CIEM). From 1994 on he studied composition at the Rotterdams Conservatorium with Klaas de Vries and electro-acoustic music with Rene Uylenhoet, where he graduated with honourable mention in 1999. Further studies took place at the one-year course on electronics and computer-aided composition at IRCAM in Paris. He has obtained diverse scholarships and stipends.

Some his compositions include Teguala a percussion quartet for 120 ceramic tiles and electronics, Chemicangelo an odyssey for organ solo, Calumnia for large orchestra, for which he received the first price in the NOG Jonge-componisten concourse in Holland, Fulminata which examines aspects of velocity and instrumentation present in rare folkloric music from Oaxaca, Reconnaissances for ensemble with metallic- percussive means, exploring complex patterns against a -repetition vs. recognition- framework, and Eye Masking for ensemble and soprano, which  concentrates on specific aspects of psychoacoustics. Most of his works are published by Donemus.
His pieces have been widely performed in The Netherlands, Germany, England, Austria, France, Mexico, Taiwan, Australia and the USA,  by reknown orchestras, ensembles and performers including as Nederlands Ballet Orkest, DoelenEnsemble, Schoenberg-Ensemble, Asko Ensemble, Offspring Ensemble, Ear Massage, Orkest de Volharding, Zephyr Quartet, MAE Ensemble, Insomnio Ensemble, New Trombone Collective, Slagwerkgroep Den Haag. In Mexico by Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional, Orquesta Filarmónica de la Universidad Nacional de México, Orquesta de San Luis Potosí, Ensemble de Percusiones Tambuco, Trio Neos, Ensemble Kalisphereon.  Has had the priviledge to work wtih soloists including Irvine Arditti, Claire Edwardes, Barbara Hannigan, Katerina Chrobokova, Diego Espinosa, Jan Hage, Julija Hartig, Alexis Descharmes, Mieko Kanno, Alexander Bruck and Tatiana Koleva

Through music collaborations he has worked with choreographer Chrstina Gehrig Binder  (Coeur du Savon, Chimera), Jasmine Morand from Prototype Status dance Company (Marvin) and in experimental film projects with involving the likes of Frank Scheffer (Blow), Karel Doing (Visual- Audible) Camilla Milena Fehér (Fossils of the Future) as well as with animation film eccentric Martha Colburn  (Secrets of Mexuality), point from which he has begun himself experimenting with Super8 film animations.

Various Festivals have embraced his works including Festival de Mexico en el Centro Historico, Maerz Music, Radar Festival, Big-Bang Percussion Festival, Gadueamus Concours, Nweamo Festival, The Taipei International Percussion Convention, etc.

In defining his music, two forces are always active in his works: In some, like El Culto for 4 voices and big ensemble and En El Allure Del Frenesí there is an evident influence  of mexican instrumentation, colour and style. While in other pieces such as Neurotica Luminosa, and Jeu de Dames, the source of the musical discourse comes fro m a darker and psycological inspiration. Both cases reflect a surrealistic enviroment. His music often involves a ‘lens of deformation’ as an integrative ingredient,  which reflects his interest in harmonic 'imperfection', and disturbing previously presented clean sonorities; a pre-existing musical reality. Juan Felpe Waller’s interest in intervining instruments is rooted in a seach for unorthodox sounds, or what he calls sound-specific-generators, which often involves intrument ‘extensions’. Through  these techniques, revealing sonorities often come to surface. Such case is the use of 120 ceramic tiles in Teguala, or building a self-made midi-ratchet with rhythm control in La Raganella Elettrizzante, as well as in using video tape attached to stringed instruments in Ziehen und Sehnen, and masking tape pasted on all strings of a piano to filter the sound to the likes of an equalizer in Reconnaissances.

Upcoming engagements include writing a chamber opera comissioned for the mexican bicentenial by the Festival de Mexico en el Centro Historico, a project which involves live image and sound triggering through the use of a midi-ratchet as a musical prop.


1 ) Biography-JFWALLER-Eng
3 ) Biografia-JFWALLER-Esp
5 ) Bio-WALLER-English-LIVE