Juan Pablo Contreras: "Pueblos Mágicos"

Virtual Event

Premiered January 1, 2021

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra performs Pueblos Mágicos by Juan Pablo Contreras. This performance was captured as part of Close Quarters, LACO’s new streaming series. CQ: Instrumental is a musician-focused series of companion videos from the world of Close Quarters.

López, Montgomery + Contreras is sponsored by Gary Larsen.


Pueblos Mágicos (Magical Villages) describes the daily life in a Mexican pueblo. Its 24-hour depiction, in three movements, is a metaphor for the circle of life, where all things live, die, and live again. The smell of morning dew at the “Madrugada” (“First Light”) marks the beginning of a new day in a Mexican pueblo. Its hardworking people find their rhythm in their daily chores.

In the afternoon, a rustic violin awakes the pueblo from their traditional siesta, playing “Canciones Lejanas” (“Distant Songs”). Gradually, other musicians join in, singing Mexican boleros and rancheras about love and loss. They joyfully serenade the pueblo, while its people conclude their daily activities and gather around the plaza before “La Fiesta” (“The Party”) begins.

At nightfall, a trumpet fanfare announces the fireworks display that will start the celebration. After the show, the pueblo’s brass band plays its energizing tunes that create an infectious dance atmosphere. Couples dance, in a close embrace, and people sing along with the music, as night turns into day and the life cycle begins anew.

–Juan Pablo Contreras


Close Quarters — Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s new streaming series — features classical music performances set to compelling visual elements. Creative Director of Digital Content James Darrah joins forces with Music Director Jaime Martín to create a digital series at the intersection of music, art and film that celebrates the essence of L.A.

Close Quarters features classical music performances set to images and art created and processed in a first-of-its-kind digital studio at Wilhardt + Naud. Music Director Jaime Martín and Director and Designer James Darrah seek to create a digital series that celebrates collaboration in an age of isolation.

Close Quarters is a Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra original series and you can find it for free on Youtube, Facebook and our website.