Argentinian composer and guitarist Demian Rudel Rey has received numerous awards and honorable mentions in various national and international composition compstitions, and his pieces have been selected and programmed at prestigious festivals across Europe and the Americas.
Theophilus (which you can hear on this page) was written on the occasion of a tribute festival to Mozart (2º Festival Konex de Música Clásica) held in Buenos Aires in 2016. The composition contest called for the creation of a new piece that had to be related in some way to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Theophilus won the contest’s top prize, and had its premiere performance at the festival.
In addition to winning second place in Musicworks’ 2017 Electronic Music Composition Contest, Demian’s Theophilus represented Argentina at the ISMC World Music Days 2017 in Vancouver.
The previous year, Theophilus won the chamber-music prize at the TRINAC-UNESCO 2016 (Argentina), the Award of Distinction in the Matera Intermedia 2016 (Italy), and was a finalist for the Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award 2016 (U.S.).
Here is what the composer has to say about his award-winning composition: “Theophilus (2016), for string quartet and electroacoustics, is linked in different ways with some works of W. A. Mozart. The title refers to one of the baptismal names of the Austrian composer. Quotes from his first and last string quartet (K. 80 and K. 590) appear at the beginning with an oneiric and surreal character and interference from abstract, electroacoustic sounds and brief notes on the instruments. Subsequently, the Mozart works and specific materials from the piece interact such that the tonal melodic lines are blurred. A passage of great virtuosity increases the flow of information in order to generate a climax. In the piece’s conclusion, elements of are perceived with the same characteristics as the early interventions.”
Demian Rudel Rey defines his music as a dynamic and explosive time experience like a supernova. “The notion of an irregular temporality, sometimes dilated and sometimes contracted, is very important to the structure of my works. In a similar way, the rhythm and the harmony are inseparable from the temporal development of a piece; they form a discontinuous line that changes by different musical processes. Within my compositions, each musical idea must be linked to a unique temporality and also to a timbre of its own. About the timbre treatment, I think the sounds as entities. Many of my pieces are inspired by literature or pictorial sources, and I often work on the idea of the oxymoron in my music, featuring antagonistic musical elements that are connected. In addition, I am particularly interested in sounds that have fragile and unpredictable sonorities. At the same time, I focus on the details of a sound and the small particles that compose it by exploring the different possibilities of its grain. Each of my works is for me a small open door, an invitation for the listener to penetrate further into my musical universe.”
Born in Buenos Aires, Demian Rudel Rey is currently (as of 2018) pursuing a master’s of instrument composition at the Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse de Lyon with Martín Matalon and Philippe Hurel (composition) as well as with Michele Tadini (musical technologies). In Argentina, he obtained his higher diploma in musical arts, specializing in guitar, at the “Astor Piazzolla” conservatory, and a bachelor’s degree in composition and a master’s degree in combined arts from the National University of Arts.

Photo: Demian Rudel Rey.
Audio: Theophilus (2016) by Demian Rudel Rey.