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Sebastian Plano is an internationally acclaimed Argentinian composer, producer and musician, currently based in Berlin. Described as “a composer in dialog with the whole of existing music that strives to create authentic new music”, Plano started playing the cello at age 7 and interpret his imagination into his own sounds at the age of 12. His approach to electronic music is intrinsically linked to years of chamber music and orchestra playing, in his records, Sebastian creates large ensemble pieces with acoustic instruments and electronics by himself achieving a genuine and unique sound in his music.

 

Born in Rosario, Argentina, Sebastian Plano was raised by parents who spent the last forty years performing in the city’s symphony orchestra: his father, like his sister, plays violin, while his mother is a violist. His grandfather, too, was a musician, a bandoneon maestro who led a popular local tango band. Plano, who began playing the cello at the age of seven, was already writing his own music by the time he was 12, and though he occasionally lost interest during the intervening years, his passion was reawoken as he entered his teens. “I went to see Haydn’s Cello Concerto No.1 in C performed by my Mum and Dad’s orchestra,” he says. “Something happened to me during the second movement. The next morning, I got the score and started practising.”

 

It wasn’t long before a 13-year-old Plano found himself a soloist on the same stage, performing not only Haydn’s Cello Concerto but also Fauré’s Elegie. His parents scraped money together so he could study with the country’s finest teacher, and, for the next two years, he travelled to Buenos Aires and back – an eight-hour round trip – twice a month for an hour-long lesson. But though he would go on to receive full scholarships from some of the world’s most prestigious institutes – first the United World College of the Adriatic, outside Trieste, Italy, followed by the Boston Conservatory and, finally, the San Francisco Conservatory – Plano’s interests were never restricted to classical music. As a child, he would watch Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, and, noticing how bewitched he was by Vangelis’ soundtrack, his father acquiesced on his eighth birthday to his request for similar music, presenting him with a cassette of Vangelis’ Themes.

 

This collection opened up a whole new, electronic world, and, as he began commuting to his nation’s capital, he also started toying with music software. At first, though he enjoyed ‘remixing’ Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells in his bedroom after school, his experiments were largely limited to scholarly endeavours: his own formally composed pieces, printed out using a score-writing programme, Sibelius, before his family gathered the next day to rehearse them. But, as he continued to develop skills as a contemporary composer – with some success, not least the premiere of a piece at Rosario’s Opera House in 2008, when he was still in his mid 20s – he also immersed himself increasingly in more radical musical pursuits.

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Sebastian Plano
cello, electronics, piano