Henry Vega (b. 1973, New York, N.Y.) is a composer and electroacoustic musician currently living in The Hague, Netherlands.
Dr. Vega studied composition at Florida International University between 1993 and 1999 with the composer Orlando Jacinto Garcia and later between 1999 and 2004 he completed a master's in music at the University of North Texas studying under electroacoustic musician Jon Nelson. He moved to Europe in 2001, where he studied at the Institute of Sonology at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and received a Master of Music degree in sonology. Between 2004 and 2008, he then completed a Ph.D. from Queens University, Belfast at the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC).
He founded The Spycollective in 2006, a music, theater and dance group, and is a founding director of Artek Foundation. Vega has been composing and performing internationally since 2001 and is also a founding member of The Electronic Hammer trio with Diego Espinosa and Juan Parra Cancino.
Many of his works have been composed for instruments in combination with the computer as a live instrument, aiming to create new sounds for his compositions that fuse the virtuosity of the instrumentalists with digital variations of themselves. This combination has been an influence on the way the music sounds as well as an inspiration for how to approach acoustic instruments and scores, something which is evident from his more recent compositions.
One of Vega's influences came from working with American composer Earle Brown, who was a modern proponent of the Open Form style of composition and a father of aleatoric music. This inspired Vega to compose pieces with the idea of "blocks of music," where performers had the freedom of interpretation (not improvisation) to play a block repeatedly until cue'd to another block. Vega said, "This makes an impression of synchronisity between the performers, even though while they are in the block, they are completely unsynchronised."
Vega noted several influences on his composition Wormsongs, including the futurist writings of philosopher Max More and a text from the artist Georg Hobmeier. He also noted the musical inspiration coming from composers such as Kenneth Gaburo, Philip Glass, and György Ligeti. The use of text and the musical style combine to inspire Vega in the potential of technology as a force in musical performance and composition. He said, "One of the themes that More talks about is overcoming the fear of technology, learning to coexist with it and internalize it."
Works for Winds
- Heir to the Flesh (2021)