Voces Fantasmas

Voces Fantasmas

Composers: 
J.E. Hernández
Performers: 
Shannon Murray
Apollo Chamber Players
Catalog Number: 
#1 082
Genre: 
new classical
new music
Collection: 
strings
solo voice
Release Date: 
Sep 23, 2022
Digital Only
One Sheet: 

Featuring music, dance, and film, the multi-disciplinary project, Voces Fantasmas is a haunting and visceral tribute to immigrants detained by ICE. The program is inspired by composer  J.E. Hernández's experiences in the Houston ICE detention facility – where he spent 60 days detained from August 4th to October 3rd, 2013 – and honors those who have since become no more than phantom voices in his memory.

Voces Fantasmas serves as an artistic and detailed record. Deep reflection and research from indigeneity in México (like that of the culture and language of Nahuatl-speaking peoples), to the religious influence of Catholicism, notes and details from his incarceration, as well as rhythms, texture, and melody derived from migrant statistics all made their way into Voces Fantasmas; converting tangible life experiences and materials into music through an intensive, multi-narrative process that is mathematical, philosophical, and historical.

The work is constructed in three continuous movements that convey distinct scenes from Hernández’s incarceration. The amber color piercing through a van’s window as Hernández was transported to the detention center, the concrete tomb architecture of the facility where an inmate took his own life,, and the cerulean sky that peeks through a small roof window, the only way to see the outside world. By centering his experiences so vividly, Hernández hopes to inspire audiences to think deeply about the many different people who pass through immigrant imprisonment and to connect with others who have experienced similar narratives. 

Composer and cinematographer J.E. Hernández (b.1993) is a Mexican-born composer focusing on elevating personal and cultural narrative through converting tangible life experiences and materials into music through an intensive, multi-narrative process that is mathematical, philosophical, and historical.. J.E.’s music has been featured by distinguished ensembles and organizations such as the Kennedy Center for the Arts, Houston Grand Opera, American Opera Project, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, American Composers Forum, the Brazil National Orchestra, and in a wide variety of films, both in the United States and abroad.