Much of my musical life and identity was developed in Montreal, where I lived for many years. It’s a great town, and while I was there,  I happened to complete an undergraduate degree in music at Concordia University. Studying, shaped, and mentored by Roddy Elias and Rosemary Mountain, the influence of these wonderful musicians still informs my musical moves today.  During the Montreal decade, my guitar and I found our way into a number of musical corners, both bright and dark. From corporate jazz schlock, to noisy art rock. Among many exciting sonic adventures, some standouts were Teen Sleuth and the Free Cyborg Choir, a pop-opera piece of musical theatre that segued into a working band. People for Audio, was also fun. A sentimental and sensitive group of friends getting lost in odd times. Very pleasing indeed. Some indie-rock goodness was had in ensembles with various titles such as Waterblues and Victory Chimes. Montreal also happened to be the place where I was introduced to Pho by a girl named Sara. A very significant life event.

I jumped ship around 2009, and moved to Barcelona where I completed my Masters in music for film and visual media at Escola Superior de Musica de Catalunya. During this lovely Spanish tenure, I received orchestration classes from the mind-melting skills of master Albert Guinovart. Que fuerte! Very wonderful institution. In a delicious city.

I’ve worked in short experimental film, as well as scoring the investigative journalism program First Story, a Canadian television program detailing issues of First Nations significance for the CTV channel. I absolutely love the use of technology in music, while at the same time staying fond of bare bones acoustic instruments and ragged cheap guitars. Low fi sound when needed, digital for other times. Nothing is sacred. I am not precious about any sonic decision. I use Logic Pro, only because I know it and I like it, for most of my composing. My guitars are a beat up old Ibanez semi-hollow from the 80’s that I absolutely love, and that also happens to be haunted. I also play a Fender Jazzmaster reissue, that is swank and sexy. My acoustic steel string is a plywood 3/4 50$ guitar bought in Kuala Lumpur that sounds terrible and is easy to play. In my eyes it is perfect. Dry sounding. No shimmer.  That says it for me. I also am in love with ultra low-watt amps that sound like bedroom recordings. The intimacy of a small amp, the relationship you can build with it is much more comforting than a 60 watt dragon.

Currently, I’m working on a PhD at Hong Kong Baptist University. My thesis holds the working title ‘cyclical structures of religious mystics’ and aims to explore some of the techniques used by composers to distort the temporal experience of the listener. The research focuses primarily on composers who write far-out music, psychedelic if you will, and who also happen, coincidentally or not, to be heavily motivated by the beauty of the divine. Gorecki, Messiaen, and Part are primary examples.

I’ve composed, performed and written a variety of material in various styles, for projects both commercial and personal, but as of late, I seem to notice my music taking a particular turn towards emptiness and space.  Consciously or not, what I write, and what I hear in my head, requires less and less pitch information, and eschews technique in a traditional sense. Atmosphere and how one experiences time are of prime interest in my music, and that which I listen to. And as well, of course, in life.

alex@alexformosa.com

 

Thanks to Matt Vogt who made this website. And Julien Lemaitre who snapped the photos.

Special gratitude to Mr. Kwok Yat Wai and Madam Kwok Chung Bo Fun and the Graduate School Development Fund for the generous support they have provided in assisting me in my expressions, explorations and research. With their assistance much of this would have been a far more laborious task. My sincerest thanks for their generosity.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message