Guillermo Galindo

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Guillermo Galindo
EducationBA and MA
Alma materEscuela Nacional de Musica
Berklee College of Music
Mills College

Guillermo Galindo is a Mexican composer, performer, and artist.[1]

Early life[edit]

Guillermo Galindo was born in Mexico City.[2][3] As a young adult, he was trained in musical composition at the Escuela Nacional de Musica in Mexico City,[4] as well as completing a BA in graphic design.[2] He then trained at Berklee College of Music where he completed another BA and Mills College in Oakland, California, where he received an MA.[5] He would later collaborate with Chris Brown on the Transmission Series, an interactive performance and installation using homemade, low-powered FM radio transmitters.[6]

Music and art career[edit]

He began his career writing more traditional Western classical music. In 1997 he wrote a symphony on the theme of Aztec calendars for the UNAM orchestra.[6] His work Trade Routes was performed by the Oakland East Bay Symphony in 2005, taking inspiration from the streets of Oakland, California.[7]

In 2006 began composing experimental music. According to Art in America, Galindo also began, “building his own instruments, performing compositions on them himself or improvising with them,” including audience participation in his pieces. The publication stated further that in created his instruments, he “ignores the borders set by musical convention … [and] listens to found objects and, in effect, lets them speak as they will.”[4] Inspiration for compositions he has written for these inventions have included Native American and Mesoamerican cultures.[5] In 2014 his work Blood Bolero premiered at the Zellerbach Playhouse at Berkeley.[8] His work Remote Control was commissioned by the Kronos Fifty for the Future Composers festival.[9] He also composed Sonic Re-Activation: Unearthing Public Square’s Forgotten Pasts while serving as a visiting artist-in-residence at Vanderbilt’s Center for Latin American Studies and the Department of Art.[10] Among his instruments is the "Angel Exterminator", which is a gong made from a heavy, rusty, discarded sheet of twisted metal that resembles a set of angel wings, which he has played during performances at locations including the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.[11]

In 2016 his instruments were first exhibited at the San Jose Museum of Art, in a collaboration with photographer Richard Misrach,[5] an exhibition that also traveled to the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art,[12] and the Pace/MacGill Gallery in Manhattan.[13] The exhibitions paired Misrach’s own photographs, with Galindo’s instruments and sound installations by Galindo.[14] A photographic book by the two entitled Border Cantos was published by Aperture that year as well,[15] which is also the name of a set of his ensemble pieces.[16] In 2016, he performed with his instruments at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.[2] He also produces graphic scores, which are sometimes displayed during his performances on mediums like nylon flags.[4] Later, the two developed an exhibition of his instruments have also been displayed at the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery made from objects left behind by immigrants making US-Mexico border crossings. Others were derived from found objects he discovered in Germany and Greece. During his exhibition there, Galindo also performed his piece Sonic Borders III.[4] His pieces have also been exhibited in Berlin, Germany, including his first device, the MAIZ-Cybertotemic sonic device, which he invented in 2006.[5] In 2019, his instruments were exhibited at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, where he also performed his music.[17] He has also exhibited at the documenta 14 biennial.[18]

Teaching career[edit]

Galindo has served as a senior adjunct professor[5] at the California College of the Arts.[4]


  1. ^ "Recreating The U.S.–Mexico Border With "Border Cantos"". Texas Monthly. 9 December 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Crossing borders and disciplines is a sonic journey for composer Guillermo Galindo - The Salt Lake Tribune".
  3. ^ "Guillermo Galindo // Bio - MAGAZZINO".
  4. ^ a b c d e Droitcour, Brian (1 June 2018). "Guillermo Galindo".
  5. ^ a b c d e "Lost and Found".
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ Kosman, Joshua (22 November 2005). "Galindo's 'Trade Routes' score captures spirit of Oakland's own streets". SFGate.
  8. ^ "Inspira Goded 'Blood Bolero'".
  9. ^ "Kronos Festival is an eclectic treat -". 29 April 2018.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Making Art from the Materials Left Behind at the US–Mexico Border". Hyperallergic. 21 July 2016.
  13. ^ Weideman, Paul. "Long division: "Border Cantos"". Santa Fe New Mexican.
  14. ^ Sheehan, Tanya (14 June 2018). "Photography and Migration". Routledge – via Google Books.
  15. ^ Lefrak, Mikaela; Heimann, Stephanie (23 June 2016). "Requiem for a Border Wall" – via The New Republic.
  16. ^ Alexander Ortega (29 September 2016). "Songs of the Cross: Guillermo Galindo's Border-Healing Ritual". SLUG Magazine.
  17. ^ Greene, Patrick. "Mexican artist Guillermo Galindo brings his 'Sonic Borders' project to Rollins". Orlando Weekly.
  18. ^ "Report: documenta 14 in Kassel - Ocula". 24 May 2019.