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Portrait by Ernesto Mendez

 

Carlos Sandoval was born in an archetypal barrio in downtown Mexico City. Since he was a child he has been lost in the perceptual vastness of the world. Coming from a family immersed in 40-60s Mexican fine-art milieu, he started being an eager live-drawing kid. As child and teen, he worked also as a gardener, posters designer, mason's assistant, editor, illustrator, crucifixion-painter at graveyards, or in the neighboring fields, harvesting tomatoes or corn.

Years later he studied at the Mexican National School of Music, whose conservatism and mediocrity made him not only leave this institution, but also helped him to develop a strong phobia for academy. He studied nevertheless piano construction and concert-tuning at Bosendorfer, in Vienna. (He learnt also photography at the same city). This made him a professional sound observer and instrument builder and designer. 

After quitting drawing and photography, he studied music composition for 5 years. He became later an assistant to Conlon Nancarrow. He built a MIDI piano with Trimpin in Mexico, and later on he built his gloves with sensors at the STEIM Foundation in the Netherlands. (Those gloves evolved into his installations with trees and sensors)

He continued his explorations on several fields: creative non-fiction, accelerometer-based sonification, a performance-based music thinking, and video documentation as a sketch-tool to compose. "Mextoys", a piece premiered at the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater-Hamburg, was the first transparent, distilled-drop of all that chaotic mix. From those days on, his work started to be difficult to define, to locate, even for him.

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