Exploring Contact Lost in Social Media

Exploring Contact Lost in Social Media

A parody of social media, Felipe Pérez Santiago’s “Red Antisocial” evokes a noisy barrage of news feeds that crescendo to a mind-numbing din. Composed for the flutist Alejandro Escuer, the work features solo piccolo and flute lines that scamper over recorded winds and electronics like lone human voices trying to be heard above the chatter.

Introducing the work before a performance on Tuesday evening in an intimate room at the Americas Society, Mr. Pérez Santiago said he thought the ubiquity of social media has made it harder for people to communicate effectively in person. The visceral piece was included on a program called “Flying,” performed by Mr. Escuer and Mr. Pérez Santiago (on laptop) as part of the Celebrate Mexico Now festival and Carnegie Hall’s Voices From Latin America festival, which offers multidisciplinary events in myriad cultural institutions in New York.

Many of the pieces were accompanied by video, with images of the moon and footage of a mysterious swamp projected during Mr. Escuer’s alluring “Templos,” with its haunting flute solos, percussive sounds and multilayered textures. Much of the work of Mr. Escuer, a Mexico City-born composer who is on the faculty at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, includes multimedia and electroacoustic elements. He wrote “Templos” — in which he aimed to explore concepts of spirituality — while studying in New York in 1993.

In Rodrigo Sigal’s “Vida Lunar” the melancholy melodies of Mr. Escuer’s bass flute were accompanied by amorphous images of what appeared to be marine life. Mr. Escuer’s “Luminae” featured an eclectic array of influences, from the European Renaissance to contemporary Japan, although the work felt overly long. The program opened with his “En el Aire,” whose flute fragments overlapped with recorded percussion.

Recorded samples of laughter and spoken words intersected surreally with flute fragments in “Lipstick,” an imaginative work by the Dutch composer Jacob TV. In Ganesh Anandan’s “Thakita,” based on the sound of Hindu numbers, Mr. Escuer incorporated a range of intriguing percussive sounds on his instrument. He collaborated with his wife, Gabriela Ortiz, and Alejandro Viñao to compose “Códigos Secretos,” in which a mélange of folk and electroacoustic elements unfold over pulsating beats.

One of the most rewarding pieces on the program was the improvisatory “Levitarium,” a collaboration between Mr. Escuer and Mr. Pérez Santiago, in which a flute line soared over an intensely layered electronic canvas.