Born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1977, El Pricto (Andrés Rojas) is a composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist and improviser. He started working professionally as a musical producer for TV and short films in 1998, immediately after completing a degree in sound engineering. In October 2001, he moved to Barcelona (Spain), where he currently lives. Since then he has developed his own compositional and playing style, influenced by mid-XX century avant-garde, serialism, post-minimalism, rock, jazz, noise, hardcore and other contemporary sub-genres. He has recorded mainly on saxophone, but has also appeared on various recordings playing Clarinet, Electric Piano, Synthesizer and his own instrument the Prictar, an electroacustic percussion instrument of his conception, specially designed and built for him by SM Percussion.
In 2008 he formed The Filthy Habits Ensemble, an octet dedicated to the instrumental music of Frank Zappa, with whom he participated in various festivals in Spain and different European countries. In April 2011 he created Discordian Records, a record label dedicated to free improvisation and other unconventional musics, which quickly became a benchmark in the free improvisation scene in Barcelona. He is currently one of the most active musicians in the Barcelona underground, he has organized more than 300 concerts and participated in more than a hundred recordings in the last nine years. He mainly dedicates himself to composing, conducting and improvising with the Discordian Community Ensemble, a mutable formation in which a large number of musicians from the free improvisation scene of Barcelona have participated. His work with this group, since its creation in 2012, has allowed him to explore alternative languages to incorporate free improvisation within a compositional context. In autumn of 2020, the Spontaneous Music Festival in Poznan dedicated its fourth edition to his music. He has been teaching since 2016 the subjects “From free jazz to free improvisation” and “Improvisation as a compositional element” at the Higher School of Musical Studies (ESEM) in Barcelona.
Born in Venezuela in 1977, El Pricto (Andrés Rojas) is a composer, conductor, multi-instrumentalist and improviser. At the age of 12 he began to play classical and electric guitar and studied for a few years at the conservatory Juan José Landaeta in Caracas, then continued his musical education on his own and with private teachers. In 1998 he completed his professional sound and music production studies at the Taller de Arte Sonoro (TAS) in Caracas, from then until 2001 he worked as a music producer and sound technician for Meridiano Televisión (Caracas) and making music for short films. In October 2001 he moved to live in Barcelona, where he has resided ever since.
In 2008 together with Arco y Flecha Productions he co-created The Filthy Habits Ensemble, an eight-piece band that intertwined instrumental music by Frank Zappa with free improvisation. Immediately after its conception, the ensemble performed in various jazz festivals in Spain (Terrassa, Pamplona, Sigüenza, Vic, Tárrega, Cantabria, etc.) and in major European Zappa festivals like the Zappanale (Germany) and Zappamundo Festivals (Portugal). They were special guests for the Spanish Night in 2012 at Jazzahead! festival in Bremen. By the time of their dissolution in 2013, their repertoire had been expanded to play music by other authors, including arrangements of Igor Stravinsky, Les Baxter, Edgar Varèse, Bernard Herrmann, György Ligeti and his own music. He usually performed on the clarinet, alto saxophone and conducted improvisations. He also curated, transcribed, arranged and created the shows the band performed in each concert.
Though his recording credits are mainly on Saxophone and Clarinet, he has also appeared on various recordings playing Electric Piano, Modular Synthesizer and his own instrument the Prictar, an electroacustic percussion instrument of his conception, specially designed and built for him by SM Percussion.
In April 2011, he created Discordian Records, a netlabel for independent music that has its own recording facilities in Barcelona, Spain. Originally conceived as a platform for exchange between musicians dedicated to improvised music, within less than two years, it had become a cornerstone of Barcelona’s underground avant-music scene. He records, produces and promotes projects for musicians mostly from the improvising musical scene in Barcelona, as well as his own projects, which involve the following bands: Hung Mung (with Vasco Trilla and Diego Caicedo), Chaosophy (with Avelino Saavedra and Josep Lluís Galiana), Sin Anestesia (saxophone collective), Reptilian Mambo, Malaclypse (Sax Quartet), among others. In 2012 he created “Discordian Community Ensemble”, a mutable group of improvising musicians that perform improvisation-oriented music composed by himself and other composers in Barcelona.
He is also active organizing concerts in Barcelona, along with Arco y Flecha Productions he organized a festival in December 2012 called Discordian Community Riot!!!, where many musicians of the avantgarde scene performed together in different line-ups in a four-hour concert marathon. Since 2014, he organizes concerts of improvised and avantgarde music in Barcelona every Wednesday at Soda Acústic, and gives concerts each month with Discordian Community Ensemble conducting and playing his own compositions in Magia Roja and Sinestesia.
Since 2017 he has been invited on various occasions to conduct improvisations and his own compositions with the Barcelona-based contemporary music ensemble CrossingLines.
From 2016 to the present, he has been imparting courses of Free Jazz, Free Improvisation and Graphic Musical Score Design at ESEM (Escuela Superior de Estudios Musicales) in Barcelona.
In the fall of 2020, the Spontaneous Music Festival in Poznan (Poland) dedicated its fourth edition to El Pricto’s music.
Recently he has been exploring the possibilities of using modular synthesizers in a free improvisational context.
“A discordian is anyone willing to look at windmills and concede that they might be giants”
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