Charangas Delirantes

Sergio Barroso

  • Year of composition: 1993
  • Duration: 16:07
  • Instrumentation: keyboard-controlled synthesizers and stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: CEE, with support from the CCA
  • ISWC: T0705095119


ISRC CAD509612060

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Charangas are popular dance ensembles in Hispano-America, particularly in the Caribbean area. Although the charanga instrumental format is often either a small brass group with percussion or a chamber group including piano, flute, strings, plucked doublebass, and percussion, the term ‘charanga’ is commonly and freely used for any baile (Spanish for popular dancing) ensemble.

Charangas Delirantes is an expanded display of this latter concept as a wide sound imagery ranging from the very basic spontaneous and rough Rumba-type groups (consisting of wooden boxes, spoons, and a percussive door) to the subdued and refined romantic bar-type piano or guitar trios and the noisy predominantly brass bands. In this sense this piece should be understood as a fictional and distorted perambulation through the varied and contrasting sound colour and rhythmic world of leisure dancing.

Charangas Delirantes is scored in three different versions with a similar musical result. It could be performed as a trio (wind, MIDI guitar, and keyboard controllers), as a keyboard controller duo, or as a solo keyboard controller and tape. The sonic material for the piece consists of sampled concrete and FM colours. The former are mostly noises and piano timbres from a Haydn sonata performed by Vladimir Horowitz. The latter include all brass, percussion, and many piano sounds designed by myself.

Charangas Delirantes was realized at Ireme Studio in Vancouver (British Columbia, Canada) in 1993 and premiered on June 17, 1995 at the Music Gallery in Toronto. The piece was commissioned by the Canadian Electronic Ensemble (CEE) with support from the Canada Council [for the Arts] (CCA). I premiered the solo keyboard and tape version on September 19, 1995 at McGill University’s Pollack Hall during the International Symposium of Electronic Art, ISEA95 Montréal.


  • June 17, 1995, Concert, The Music Gallery, Toronto (Ontario, Canada)
  • September 19, 1995, Premiere of the keyboard controller and fixed media version: Sergio Barroso, keyboard; Sergio Barroso, diffusion • ISEA95_Montréal: Concert, Salle Pollack — Pavillon Strathcona — Université McGill, Montréal (Québec)


About this recording

This version was recorded at Ireme studio in Vancouver (British Columbia, Canada) between June 1994 and February 1995 — sound recording: Sergio Barroso; with the assistance of Michael Maguire.