José Travieso - The very early years

About me

I was born in El Puerto de Santa María (Cádiz, Spain) in 1977 (September, 17). I actually work as a teacher, but, when I'm not with my profession or family, I like to spend my free time listening to all kind of music and creating my own music. As musician, I have mainly developed skills as composer, pianist, guitarist and musical engineer. For a long time, always as an enthusiast and aficionado, I have created a bit of music in different genres and styles. I consider myself a musician rather particular, because I'm not interested in playing live, making bands or following an stable path, for example focus my energy in a unique style... I've always marched to the beat of my own drum -a very suitable expression here!- and I've made, with more or less success, what I've wanted... What I'm interested in is recording music, and this sometimes can be hard for me, especially because not always I can find the time and energy that I need to dedicate adequately to my music, especially because my perfectionist and obsessive mind. And this has led me to a love/hate relation with my music, the time I dedicate and all the energy I put in it. The music creation unbalances my life, but around 2014, after a couple of years separated from music, I understood that I need it to find my own balance, so I try to live with all this so contradictory situation :-) Sometimes I feel myself like an addict, but, after years struggling with it, I think I can handle my love/hate relation well... Ok, let's make a little of history:

The early years (1994-2003)

Born in El Puerto de Santa María in 1977, I had an initially self-taught music education on piano and later I graduated with honours from the University of Cádiz in 2000 as teacher specialised in elementary music. During previous years and around that year, I independently studied experimental music, improvisation and other topics related with the music creation, recordings a few of private demo-tapes and minor works (usually for piano). During this period my music was showing a very eclectic style -history of what I would do in the future-, revising different genres like avant-garde, minimalism, romanticism and jazz. A few of months before to graduate, in autumn of 1999, I defined my «sporadic music», a collection of open techniques of composition (taking ideas from minimalism, experimental music and of my own too) in which the different musical elements (especially rhythm, melody, tonality, modality and structure) would be affected by a continuous process of transmutation and instability, changing constantly by means of harmonic relations, games of additions and subtractions, retrograde expositions of previous schemes, logical transformations, sudden ruptures and so on. The «sporadic music» will be, from time to time, a partially recurrent element in my music, directly (for example, in the EP «Ensayos sobre Música Esporádica», from 2000) and indirectly (for example, in sections from the pieces «Lluvia de Mayo» (2000), «Jazz en Clave Mínimo Andalusí» (2002) or «The Great Old One» (2009)). I think that the «sporadic music» is one of the best things I've been able to offer in my music.

José Travieso - Ensayos sobre Música Esporádica (2000, EP)

In these years and as a pianist I began to stand out in improvisation, founding in 2001 «the HYPNOTICA project» with the guitarist José L. Cabeza, a jazz-fusion duo for guitar and piano. This project would not last much, splitting-up before the end of that year but leaving some recordings («Música para una Guitarra sin Voz», EP). Later, in 2003, I recorded «De Luces y de Sombras», a suite in six movements for solo piano, very marked by the improvisation and which settled the main elements of my romantic style. Unfortunately, a few months later, I fell into depression and I decided to leave the music creation indefinitely. This was the end of my "early years".

The Cautiva years (2006-2009)

After more than two years of complete silence, in autumn of 2005 I began to work again in my music, but changing completely the context. In this occasion there was not minimalism, avant-garde or romanticism, but thrash metal! I started to play the electric guitar and I founded in 2006 «the CAUTIVA project», a studio “band” in which I was playing all the instruments (guitars, bass, drums programming and vocals), except for very sporadic guests. José Travieso - the Cautiva projectThe first dedication was very discrete, but after moving to Granada and releasing a first demo/EP («Fire, Walk With Me!», 2008), I decided to work intensely in the project during 2008 and part of 2009. So, in June of that year I released «Human», an album which had a very good reception in the technical and progressive thrash metal scene. I recorded all the music by myself, with very limited means, at home, engineering and mixing by myself, and I made a lot of mistakes, but I was then a pioneer (I began a few years before), inside the metal music context, in the concept «bedroom musician» (a person doing everything in the recording of music, with a based on computers very limited equip and trying to reach a professional level, everything made at home). Of course I wasn't the only one, but in those years we were just a few in the metal scene, weird bugs. But everything was beginning and in just a couple of years all changed and it was possible to find a lot of «bedroom musicians» here and there in the metal scene. They were happy years!

José Travieso - Cautiva's Human (2009, LP)

The eclectic years (2009-2013)

The experiment with Cautiva was a success and for a while I was thinking about looking for musicians to form a real band, but after releasing «Human», I decided to stop Cautiva indefinitely and to think about new projects. Finally I wanted to return to my old musical ideas and to give an updated perspective, releasing in September 2009 the EP «Tunguska», a string quartet in three movements which showed a new path to follow completely different to the CAUTIVA project or the previous recordings for piano…

So, in April 2010 I finished «No More Faith», a dark and meditative album oriented to chamber music and in which I tried to make a review of various historical genres of Western music (medieval, baroque, classical, romanticism and XX century). The path finally was eclectic, because «No More Faith» collected very different ideas, from a neo-classical proposal until experimental sonorous passages...

After a rest of three months, in autumn of 2010 I began to work simultaneously in several projects, being launched in 2011 three very different to each other releases. First of all, «La Boîte», CD-S soundtrack for a French animated short film. Next, in May 2011, the EP «Don't Kill The Vinyl», making a tribute to the vinyl records and experimenting with new styles and ways of working. Among others, this album included electronic music and hip-hop! Finally, in September 2011, «The Illusionist» was released, a "ghost album" in which I constructed a false recording live, concretely a solo piano concerto "revising old and new pieces, playing new compositions especially created for the event and, finally, making a tribute to old and new composers for whom the innovation had always been one of their most important wills". This album was presented as a live concert in New York, but in reality it was a conceptual studio album which tried to make a game with the listener: to give a few of clues to discover it's a fake concert. The clues were, mainly, in the booklet and in some sentences and keywords from "my interventions to the public". Winning the game was going to an address in Internet to discover all the illusion. «The Illusionist (live at the Red Room Auditorium in New York)» got excellent reviews and closed a cycle in my music. I was very happy with the concept and the final result.

José Travieso - The Illusionist (2011, LP)

While 2011 was a very active year for my music, 2012 would move very discreetly. After an unsuccessful attempt in summer of 2012 of working again in Cautiva (everything was awful here!), I felt tired of music production and I decided to stop indefinitely of making music.

Farewell of Cautiva and starting a new period: electronics

After being involved with other non-musical projects, in 2014 I returned to music. Firstly I wanted to make a revision of the previous period with the 2 CD-Box compilation «Eclecticism - A 2008-2013 Retrospective». And next I wanted to record something new for Cautiva after the failure of 2012. I recorded only two new songs, which could be heard on the EP «The Archangel Of Omega» (July 2015). After releasing this EP, I communicated leaving indefinitely the Cautiva project, probably forever, because the strong dedication that it needed and my intention of starting a new period.

Cautiva - The Archangel Of Omega (2015, EP)

So, in 2015 I wrote about my interest of making electronic music for a long term and involving different projects. The idea was not only recording music, but moving my desire of knowledge and creativity to the electronic music, as a way of learning, to create music, to make improvisations, to explore new instruments and technics, to investigate and experiment... After working for a few of months, I released «Navigator» (October 2016), my first electronic album, in which I made a tribute to the classical and vintage electronic music I love (Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Jean-Michel Jarre, Klaus Schulze and so on) and I experimented a lot with the composition based on multiple layers and the concept of "wall of sound" in an electronic context. This was the first of these new projects...

I actually continue composing from time to time, so this story should continue...

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«Works» is a text which collects comprehensive information about all my releases and compositions, including lengths, when it was composed or recorded a track, connections with other pieces, anecdotes, histories behind the music and much more stuff.

«Works» is regularly updated from time to time and you can download it from these links:

-WORKS, Part 1: about pieces.

-WORKS, Part 2: about releases.

The first part collects information about all the compositions, including the unreleased ones, being the most exhaustive and interesting part of all the content. The second part gives information about all the ordinary releases (LPs, EPs, Singles, Compilations, etc.).

If you are interested in knowing more about any release or piece, «Works» is a great source of information!