Julián De La Chica is a Colombian composer, pianist, and record producer based in Brooklyn, NY, whose influences range from minimalism & post-minimalism to the alternative electronic scene. His work is often inspired by everyday images, the search of personal spiritual reflection, and the inner darkness. It mixes piano, strings, and classical singers, with electronic keyboards and controllers, crossing over from classical to ambient, electronic music.
Following his debut album Irreverence (2012), where he explores genres such as hip hop, ambient, and electronic, De La Chica released his first solo piano album Nocturnal and Circular Images Op. 5 (2015). The album was dedicated to his first instrument, the piano, and is inspired by daily life imagery in New York City. A number of such images were premiered by the Cuban concert pianist Leonardo Gell on his tour of Cuba (2014), and as a part of Gell's project "Minimal piano: De Bach a De la Chica” (2014). De La Chica’s third solo album Psychosis (2018), released during a live show at ShapeShifter Lab in Brooklyn, explores contamination and sickness within the virtual world today. Inspired by a trip to Berlin, Krakow, and Warsaw, this album experiments with ambient, post-minimal, acid, industrial, and minimal electronic influences.
Among his collaborations with other artists are: Minimal Aggression (2015) with musicologist and composer Susan Campos-Fonseca — a mutual ‘interrogation’ of minimalism, its possibilities, and its trajectory in the 21st century. Four Short Stories at the Standard Hotel Op. 6 (2009), with the Scorchio Quartet and Dominican tenor José Heredia, premiered in his Carnegie Hall debut in 2016. This work is based on De la Chica’s first months in New York City, on a terrace of the Standard Hotel in the Meat Packing District, spending hours on his laptop in search of work opportunities. Experimentelle und unbestimmte Lieder Op. 9 (2017) is a cycle of German songs for soprano, piano and synthesizer recorded by American soprano Rachel Hippert and based on the spiritual progression through the five pillars of internal transit that De la Chica suggests are the fundamental basis of meditation. Preludes Op. 8 (2018), for piano and synthesizer, recorded by Australian pianist Lisa Moore, is an exploration of another kind of virtuosity: the virtue of sound.
As a film composer, De La Chica has worked with various independent producers and directors. His latest film score, for the short film Margaret, from the Lebanese director Badr Farha, won the Best Original Score award at the London Independent Film Awards.
De La Chica began his musical career in the classical tradition, studying piano at the age of five in his hometown, Manizales. During his early years, he immersed himself in the world of “classical music”, developing a keen affinity with Baroque composers and symphonic sound. After high school he moved to Europe. Interested in spirituality and philosophy, he began studies of humanities in Salamanca (Spain), and also briefly studied philosophy and metaphysics in Madrid. He undertook self-guided studies, in Bad Münstereifel (Germany) reading classical literature, composition, and the study of dead languages. It was during this period that he composed pieces and essays about music, philosophy and spirituality, inspired by his readings of Garrigou-Langrange and Teresa de Avila. Finding himself dissatisfied with the conservative musical minds of the music schools, he decided against continuing his education formally in a conservatory.
De La Chica performs his music in different settings, ranging from electronic music bars to conventional classical stages. Since 2009, he has been a Baldwin Piano Company artist. He currently plays the custom-designed Baldwin: Heavy Metal piano. He is a founding member of the independent record label Irreverence Group Music (IGM) and lives in Brooklyn, NY.