- UNYAZI Special Section
The following abstracts are summaries of articles that are available in full on-line. See the Leonardo Music Journal web site <lmj.mit.edu/lmj16.html> for links to the full articles.
Pauline Oliveros in the Arms of Reynols: A Collaboration
Pauline Oliveros, 156 Hunter Street, Kingston, NY 12401, U.S.A.
Reynols is an unusual group of creative heavy-metal musicians in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This paper discusses the nature and history of our collaboration as well as the philosophical and technical aspects. I discuss my own work as I performed it in Buenos Aires, the Deep Listening seminar that I led with Reynols in attendance, how Reynols responded to the seminar, to me and to my concert and the resulting remix CD, Pauline Oliveros in the Arms of Reynols, which consists of a pirate recording of my solo concert and Reynols additions in the remix.
The Burkina Electric Project and Some Thoughts about Electronic Music in Africa
Web site: <www.lukasligeti.com>.
This paper is an updated summary of a presentation I gave at the UNYAZI Electronic Music Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2005.
Burkina Electric, founded in 2004, is an ensemble featuring two musicians (singer Maï Lingani and guitarist Wende K. Blass) and two dancers (Hugues Zoko and Idrissa Kafando) from Burkina Faso; the German pop music pioneer Pyrolator on electronics (both audio and visual); and me on electronics and drums. Our objective is to create and perform original music combining the traditions of Burkina Faso with the world of DJ/club/dance electronica. In so doing, we build bridges between African and Western cultures, especially in the domains of pop/youth culture and experimental music. Burkina Electric's debut CD, Paspanga, was recently released for the Burkinabè market.
By using elements of Burkinabè traditional music, including rhythms not usually heard in contemporary urban music, plus rhythms of our own creation, we aim to enlarge the vocabulary of "grooves" in the club/dance landscape; the dancers help audiences interpret these unusual rhythmic patterns. Sonorities and structural models of West African music are transferred to electronics and reassembled and processed in various ways. Rather than superimposing drum programming on top of African traditional structures, we compose music that aims to organically counterpose and combine African and Occidental, and tradition and experiment, while maintaining the particular sensibilities of both worlds.
Working on electronic music with African musicians has inspired me to think about the possibilities inherent in this combination. I believe that these areas hold unique potential for each other, along with special challenges, both technical and conceptual/aesthetic. Using my work with Burkina Electric as a point of departure, I present a brainstorm on this line of work.
Performing music and dancing are hard to dissociate from each other in African culture, while the advent of electronic music has, in the West, reduced the kinetic aspects of music performance. I think that the African approach to playing music could infuse new life into live electronic music, especially through the creative use of MIDI controllers. Similarly, the connection between music and language in Africa, as well as analogies between music and visual art, could provide templates to be developed in the electronic realm.
The cyclic and additive structure of much African music lends itself well to digital environments, and since African music provides the structural foundation for most international pop, sequencer programs have much African-based thinking embedded in them. This gives food for thought: Is most electronic music actually African music? Could one create music software geared more specifically to African musical approaches?
Other areas worth examining include African sonic ideals and their similarities to electronic sound processing, as well as the role of instrument building in Africa, which has created a highly varied landscape of instrumental standards not unlike the customization of software environments by individual users.
The Borders of Identity: A Personal Perspective
Rodrigo Sigal, Apartado Postal 97, Administración Centro #1, Av. Madero Oriente 369, C.P. 58001, Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico.
Web site: <www.rodrigosigal.com>.
This text deals with the concepts of...