Hugo Morales Murguia + Diego Espinosa "Items, Machines and Body"


Hugo Morales Murguia + Diego Espinosa "Items, Machines and Body"

TOKYO EXPERIMENTAL FESTIVAL Vol.9 ―Performance [Recommended Program]

  • Date:
    2014.11.12(Wed) - 2014.11.13(Thu)
    1500 yen
    Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture, Tokyo Wonder Site
    Ryogoku Monten Hall
    Hugo Morales Murguia / Diego Espinosa (CIRMMT)



1. Diferenciales, for scrubbed metal bar
2. Enclosure, for modified cajón and electronics
3. 木, for electromechanical driven marimba and distortion
4. \_/, for amplified triangle
5. Lū, for prepared vibraphone
6. 150pF, for human body capacitance and amplification system

*All pieces composed by Hugo Morales Murguía and performed by Diego Espinosa


The Performing Body: Instruments, Items and Machines

Hugo Morales and Diego Espinosa (CIRMMT) hold a long-term composer/performer collaboration as a creative platform for sonic and aesthetic exploration. Either through revising previous works by Morales or the collective creation of new pieces, they aim to question aesthetic and performative Western music onventions. The seven solo works of this program highlight the performing body as a significant element of expression capable of serving different roles as an electrical interface; an acoustic sound producer; a digital and analog sound articulator; and a musical instrument itself. A multi-percussionist is redefined as a multi-instrumentalist by the challenge of developing and mastering new performing techniques applied on new instruments, devices, and machines. Old instruments and ordinary objects are re-contextualized in different ways by transforming them into digital musical instruments, preparing them with different materials, exiting them with analog devices, or applying expanded techniques to them, Morales and Espinosa ultimately stretch and intertwine the concepts of music, performance, and musical instrument in a humble and sublime way.



 Click here for Interview with the duo. 

 Click here for the video (short ver.) of "Items, Machines and a Body"  at TEF Vol.8 (2013).


Date: November 12 (Wed.), 13 (Thu.)  Finished
Start: 19:00 (Doors Open: 18:30) 
*Duration 90 mins
Ticket: 1500 yen

*There is post-performance talk on November 12 (Wed.)
Guest: Yuji Numano (Musicologist/ Professor, Toho Gakuen School of Music)

1. Booking should be made by E-mail or Fax.
Email: / Fax: 03-5602-9882
2. Please inform us of your name, phone number, date/time/name of the performance and number of tickets with a subject of "Booking for TEF Performance".
3. Payment should be made at the venue on the day of performance.
4. Booking will be closed by 17:00 of the day before each performance, or as soon as the seats are fully booked. For the latest ticket information, please check this page.

*Please note that program content may change due to inevitable reasons.


Hugo Morales Murguia + Diego Espinosa is a composer/performer duo dedicated to the interrogation of certain instrumental principles and performance paradigms, through the aid of technique, physical sound
processing and various alternative uses of technology. Their work not only tries to confront predetermined instrumental values, but most importantly, to suggest the idea of music as a way of "listening everywhere" rather than a collection of thoughts, givens or concepts.

Hugo.jpg Diego.jpg
Hugo Morales Murguia
(photo: Michel Marang)
Diego Espinosa (CIRMMT)
(photo:  Renske Vrolijk)


Hugo Morales Murguía + Diego Espinosa
Mexican duo, Grand Prize winner of TEF Vol.8 (2013). Their performance "Items/ Machines/ Body" is back to TEF Vol.9 as Recommended Program.

--Hugo, please describe Diego as a percussionist. What makes him different from other percussionists?

Hugo Morales Murguía: Diego is an exceptional musician and he has been concentrating on what is very important for me. It is about the matter that a musician can play and manipulate any instrument in order to play music. That is one of the characteristics of percussionists in general, but he practices and tries to extend this ability, questioning himself about the role of a performer in the creation of new music, and thinking what it means to be a percussionist nowadays. I have been investigating this idea of performer and multi-instrumentalist, and Diego is doing it well. Every time we work together, we inspire each other and I enjoy creating new music with his skills and my new ideas.

--Next question is to Diego. Please describe Hugo as a composer.

diego2.jpgDiego Espinosa: As a composer, Hugo's natural artistic impulse necessarily takes risks that highlight what we are by questioning what we do. I think those risks deviate our attention away from people's taste or fashion of any kind. His work is derived from very personal approach towards sounds. Also, his work is designed especially to depend on performer's sensibility and ability to master new techniques and apply those techniques for innovative instruments or devices. It requires internal revolution for classically trained performers. This fragile condition makes his work special. On the personal level, I'm grateful for Hugo's openness to experiment and collaboration.

--How much percent of "Items, Machines and Body" is improvisation? Or, does it all have a solid structure?

DE: Each piece is different. Talking about the triangle piece, I would say more than 90 percent is written. There is just a little space to improvise, and I take more expression than improvisation. In the cajon piece, on the other hand, there are some guides, like instructions. It is divided into sections, and when to move onto the next section is left to the performer.

--This autumn you are going to present new works with marimba and vibraphone.

HMM: Yes, but the vibraphone piece has been played many times in other countries. The marimba piece has been performed once but it's going to be in a bigger arrangement this time. Many of other pieces are revised, too.

diego3.jpgDE: "150pF" for body capacitance is going to be played in a revised version. This piece was played with fingers on a small box last year, but now I also use the tongue as a sound articulator. We are experimenting to project the tongue during the performance because we've never seen a tongue as a part of musical performance, except singing or playing wind instruments.

--What will be the highlight of your performance?

HMM: I think highlight always depends on listeners. I can't really decide it because each piece has something to say.

DE: Actually it's difficult for us to decide which piece goes where in the program as well. That influences both the performer and audience on how they perceive each piece. It's like a puzzle!


"Items, Machines, and Body" at TEF Vol.8 (2013)
*Grand-Prize-winning Performance


Back to TEF Performance Vol.9 Top Page

Participating Creator

Hugo Morales MURGUIA