From the Streets to the Concert Hall

Puerto Rican composer William Ortiz Alvarado was raised and educated in the United States, but his Latino identity plays a vital role in his music. Particularly, his experience as a Nuyorican in the 1970s have informed the aesthetics of his music, which transforms the sounds of the streets into art music. Unique in that respect is the use of what Ortiz calls “vocalized graffiti“, verbal passages that are integrated into his instrumental narrative and “sonic graffiti” illustrating the diversity and complexity of his sound world.

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