David Dean Mendoza (b. 1979) writes various styles of contemporary music. His works juxtapose the traditional with the contemporary, the ancient with the avant-garde, and the accessible with the abstract. Sound sources often include silences, electronic sounds, non-Western instruments, and improvisation to produce something that has been described as ethereal and evocative.
Since 2007, his works have been performed at festivals and conferences around the world including the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, SEAMUS, N_SEME, and SCI local, regional, and national conferences. He has been an artist in residence at the Musical Production and Research Laboratory (LIPM) in Buenos Aires, the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, and at the Banff Centre.
His music has been performed by Arizona State University Contemporary Percussion Ensemble, Central Michigan University New Music Ensemble, Florida International University New Music Ensemble, Friends University Percussion Ensemble, Reinhardt University Percussion Ensemble, Forward Motion, South Carolina String Project, The Other Music Ensemble, The Henri Mancini Institute String Quartet, Folie à Duex, the Nodus Ensemble, the White Ibis New Music Ensemble, Resound Duo, The Pneuma Ensemble, The Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra Chamber Players, and the University of Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra.
David earned DMA in Music Theory and Composition from the University of Miami, his MM in Music Composition from Florida International University, and his BM in Music Composition at Florida State University. He has taught as a lecturer at Florida International University and the University of Miami, and is currently an adjunct professor of music at the New World School of the Arts and the Frost School of Music.
As a composer performer, I am able to get a hands-on experience with the sounds I am trying to create. Bowed stringed instruments are my favorite instruments to explore, not only because they are beautiful, but also because of my connection to them as a child. Since string timbres resonate the most with me, most of my works incorporate string instruments.
When I write, the music mostly comes from working with the instrument first before writing it down on paper. My process takes me from paper, to computer, to performing, to recording, to listening, and back again several times before a piece is completed. In this way, I am able to live with a piece for several months before giving birth to it.
My works juxtapose the traditional with the contemporary, the ancient with the avant-garde, and the accessible with the abstract. Sound sources often include silences, electronic sounds, non-western instruments, non-traditional instruments, and improvisation to produce something that has been described as ethereal and evocative. My influences vary from early music, to non-western music, and to the latest innovations in interactive electronics and video. My mission is to explore the instruments of the world and write for them in new ways. Philosophies and schools of thought are important, but a composer should not get bogged down with labels, or the politics associated with them. Learn from the past, and take what you want from it, but realize that you are free to explore and create new sound worlds.
To me, writing music is both an emotional and intellectual outlet. My music may come from a superficial place, or it can come from deep inside me depending on what outcomes I desire. Many times, I just try to explore and see what comes out. Sometimes I write for others, but mostly I write and play for myself. Whatever my motivation, I believe a work must achieve a balance between contrasting and cohesive ideas to be successful and must take the listener on a journey.