Composer and Sound artist. Described by “The Wire” as an artist “unafraid of working within different disciplines and stylistic constraints”, her interdisciplinary approach integrates musical composition with the design of multimedia performances, the application of new technologies, and the development of self-designed instruments. Her music recreates intimate subjective landscapes through electro-acoustic sonorities mixed with field recordings and synthesis. Her compositions involve acoustic, amplified, and electronic instrumentation performed through ensemble formats influenced by improvisational aesthetics and ethnic musical traditions. Her work also focuses on the development of real-time interactive music and self-designed instruments using Max Msp and circuit bending. This branch of her work seeks the embodiment of electronic music performance integrating the emission of electronic sounds with corporal expressivity.
An active film scorer, (“Pauchi Sasaki’s effective scores” – Variety 2015) her scores are featured in more than 30 feature and short films, having received four international “Best Original Score” awards from 29th Festival Cine Ceara (Brazil), 30th Festival de Cinema Latino Americano di Trieste (Italy); Filmocorto, in the 15th International Latin American Film Festival of Lima; and CONACINE, the National Film Council of Peru. She was awarded The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative selected by composer Philip Glass, the Ibermúsicas grant for sound composition with new technologies at CMMAS in Mexico, the Goethe-Institute’s artist residency in Brazil and Berlin, Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship, Columbia University’s Institute for Ideas and Imagination Fellowship, and the Prince Claus Fund. Commissions include ACO/Carnegie Hall, Silkroad Ensemble, Pan American Games Opening Ceremony Lima 2019, among others. Her work has been presented at international venues and festivals as the Tokyo Experimental Festival, Venice Biennale, Carnegie Hall, Cannes Film Festival, Walt Disney Hall, MET, The Kitchen, Gran Teatro Nacional del Perú, Festival Cervantino, the Art Basel Miami week, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, and John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Matías Umpierrrez’s work is an investigation into the relation existing between the public and fiction. Through this inquiry, his projects set themselves at the frontier of the performing arts, visual arts and curatorial projects generating dialectics between memory-oblivion-spectator-stage-scene-territory. His work, thus, creates a dialogue in a global manner—changing locations, languages, mediums and disciplines.
His works have been presented in unconventional spaces such as abandoned buildings, train stations, food factories, churches, forests or theatres, cinemas and museums, including institutions like the Complejo Teatral de Buenos Aires, Museo MALBA (Buenos Aires), Museo Pinacoteca de São Paulo (Brazil); Museo Reina Sofía and Spain’s National Dramatic Centre-CDN (Madrid, Spain); the Oficina Cultural Oswald de Andrade in São Paulo (Brazil), Donostia Kultura (Basque Country, Spain); Territory Festival (Moscow, Russia), as a part of New Directors/New Films presented by Film Society of Lincoln Center and MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art), and the Festival de Manizales (Colombia), among others.
In addition to Museum of Fiction, Umpierrez’ projects include The Forests (a video installation performance in which he creates with various peoples dream universes, a sort of unconscious fiction), Constructions (a video installation where he utilizes oral tradition, the main tool used to construct a myth, to create myths based on the lives of living people), TeatroSOLOLONEtheater (a global site-specific performance for one audience member which has been produced in Buenos Aires, Graus, São Paulo, Madrid, and San Sebastián, Portland), Distancia (a virtual theatre piece with an actress via streaming performing from four distinct cities: Buenos Aires, New York, Paris and Hamburg), dramaHOME (a performance-intervention that explores the relationship between stay at home moms, computers and dramaturgy), Paisaje (video), Clínica de la Obsesión (a global artists’ clinic presented in various cities around the world), 4 Mujeres Bailan (video), Gente Favorita (theatre), Cuionera Tropical (performance), La Flauta Mágica (The Magic Flute) (opera), and Novela (theatre).
He was selected by the Rolex Arts Mentor & Protégé Initiative; the program chooses one young artist, biennially, worldwide for each discipline. Through this initiative, Umpierrez started a collaboration and dialogue with his mentor, the Canadian artist Robert Lepage. In 2016, he was the guest of honour, as a young artist of importance, at the Proryv Prize in St. Petersburg. In 2014, BGH named Umpierrez one of the 100 most innovative Argentines in the last 100 years. In 2009, he was awarded Iberescena’s fellowship for young creators, and he garnered an honourable mention in playwriting from Argentina’s National Arts Fund in 2010.
Umpierrez also carries out curatorial projects that activate dialogues, creating networks and local-regional-global communities. As a result of his work for different institutions, he has created interdisciplinary curatorial projects that have brought together more than 120 original commissions.
In 2007, he was brought on by the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) as the Coordinator for the Theatre Section of the legendary Rector Ricardo Rojas Cultural Center. From then until 2014 he created acclaimed curatorial projects, bringing together visual, theatre, and film artists. Thanks to some of these projects, more than 40 emerging artists were discovered.
Umpierrez founded in 2014 the Festival Internacional de Dramaturgia, a Festival co-producted by international institutions and noted institutions in the city of Buenos Aires.
In 2018 he created the Plataforma Fluorescente (Fluorescent Platform), a transdisciplinary program that promotes collaboration between creators and institutions from different geographies.