"Dame dame dame, que te voy a dar ... una guayabita de mi guayabal."


Björk interviews Arvo Pärt

'cuz more vowels need diacriticals.

"Semantic ontology" databases: Natural vs. ambiguous language for search engines

Making language have precise meaning (or trying) is as old an endeavor as Francis Bacon (maybe older). As Baumann & Briggs have it, the back-and-forth between language's denotative and more gestural, socially malleable, ambiguous or performative uses are at the center of modernity. And we're still at it, according to the BBC, as "semantic search engines" aim to build databases based on the principle of "semantic ontology," which attempts to capture how all the different parts of an organisation understand a particular thing. This seems like no easy task, in fact, it might be something like the creation of AI, since it is this very property of language that seems to be (so far) unique to humans...

Musiblogogy / Musiblogogía

Phil at the musicology blog Dial 'M' for Musicology writes that "I've gone all meta and blogged about blogging." And then Ryan Banagale and Drew Massey at another musicology blog, Amusicology: Musicology in 1,000 Words or Less takes it meta-meta and writes about that post. So me writing about it is meta-meta-meta I guess, but I guess that's the nature of this weird economy of hyperlinked quotations that the blogging is built on.

Anyhow, the meat of it is the following, from Phil:
I started this blog thinking that the strange absence of music-scholarly blogs was a temporary condition, and that musicologists, once they had learned about academic blogging by example and could see what could be done in the medium, would start writing their own blogs and a hundred musicoloblogospheric flowers would bloom. Well, that didn't happen. Look at the academic blog wiki list of music-scholarly blogs. Now look at the one for history. Or linguistics and philosophy. Or even Classics and Ancient Languages, for Chrissake. We're getting our asses kicked by Latin.
And more provocatively:
I can't help but think that this is a cultural thing. Just as different parts of the orchestra each have their own micro-cultures, different disciplines within the humanities do too, and the culture of musicology is marked by its almost insane degree of caution and self-limitation. Sorry to be so blunt, but there it is: the other humanities, when they think of us at all (which isn't very often) tend to think of musicologists as something like stamp collectors, fanatically collecting and sorting and classifying stamps without caring about what they're attached to . . .
I usually dismiss this characterization, because it doesn't describe the musicologists whose work I admire. But I don't know. The point and challenge of blogging is to make connections with other parts of the intellectual world, and inasmuch as that challenge has hardly been taken up in the two-and-a-half years since I started this blog, I have to ask if we as a discipline are not actually just happier staying in our corner, playing with our stamps.
The Amusicology folks, for their part, write:
It is true that there are relatively few blogs on that list [the one Phil mentions] (there are a few more here), but I’m not entirely sure the problem is a lack of blogs as much as much as a problem of collating / unifying those blogs that are out there.
They then, very helpfully provide a list, which I'll synthesize here:
Plus I figured I'd add some more from (or about) Latin America (esp. Colombia), of, by, or for ethno/musicologists:
After all that, I want to post one last thought from Amusicology, which seems like a great idea:
Musicology blogs take all shapes and forms, some focus on longer posts, others a tidbit here or there, others still as a place to air research ideas. Perhaps what we need is a meta-blogger willing to spend their days combing other blogs and pulling together all the interesting posts/subjects. The Perez Hilton of musicology, though less profitable and fashionable (in many senses of the word).
Don't look at me, I'm going to be in the boondocks of Colombia for the next few months working, and probably without much internet. But maybe starting to make these lists is the first step...

RIP Freddie Hubbard QEPD

Legendary jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard has died. Bio
El legendario trompetista del jazz, Freddie Hubbard, ha muerto. Biografía

Aquí está haciendo su malabarismo de trompeta en 1962 con los Jazz Messengers del finado Art Blakey.
Here he is doing his trumpet acrobatics in 1962 with the recently deceased Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.

And here he is in 1987 in a more subdued (but always Hubbard-ly pyrotechnic) mode on "Bodt and Soul" with McCoy Tyner.
Y aquí está en 1987 con un sentimiento más lírico (si bien con la pirotécnica que le carectizaba siempre) en el clásico "Body and Soul" con McCoy Tyner.


Lo Mejor de los Antroblogs 2008 / The Best of Anthropology Blogging 2008

De/From Neuranthropology:

The Best of Anthropology Blogging 2008 has a submissions deadline set for this Monday, December 29th. Both people who blog about anthropology topics and readers of anthro blogs can submit entries. For more details, see the details in the language that suits you best.

Un número creciente de antropólogos está escribiendo sobre sus trabajos e ideas en línea, compartiendo antropología en todas sus formas y manifestando cuan pertinente es la antropología para el resto del mundo. Por este motivo, “Neuroanthropology” se propone crear una colección de los mejores artículos en los blogs (o bitácoras) dedicados a la antropología.

Favor seguir las siguientes instrucciones para proponer artículos:

Hay dos categorías de artículos – (1ª) los más populares (en términos de número de lectores) y (2ª) los que usted elige como el mejor ejemplo de su trabajo en línea en su blog.

Por favor, envíe un ejemplo de cada categoría (del más popular y del preferido), incluyendo el título del artículo, la dirección del artículo en línea y una o dos frases que expliquen porqué usted piensa que estos ejemplos han sido exitosos.

En el caso de blogs con más de un autor, pueden entregar dos ejemplos de sus artículos en la segunda categoría.

Por favor enviar los detalles a Daniel Lende vía dlende[@]nd[.]edu
(eliminando los paréntesis).

Esta información debe ser enviada a más tardar el 29 diciembre de 2008. “Lo mejor de…” será publicado en línea el 31 de diciembre.

Muchas gracias a ustedes nuestros colegas.

Best of Anthropology Blogging 2008: Call for Submissions
Melhor de blogging antropolgia 2008
Le meilleur de la blogosphère anthropologique francophone: appel aux candidatures
Anunciando La Primera Edición de “Lo Mejor de los Blogs Antropológicos”
Antro-blogoskape yang paling baik untuk tahun 2008: sejenis kompetisi
Annunciando la prima edizione di «I migliori dei blogs di antropologia»

We’ve already had a great number of submissions from a diverse range of blogs. I’ve posted the list of participating blogs below. If you don’t see yours on the list, please send me a submission!

And if you did send me a submission but don’t see your blog, send me a reminder note. With Christmas, over-aggressive spam filters and the like, I want to be sure everyone gets included! Just one note - if it’s a blog in Portuguese, Greg is handling those submissions. So I haven’t included any of those in the list below.

Read the rest of this entry »


Senador Gregory Meeks habla de los afrocolombianos


Gobierno de Gramáticos/ Government of Grammarians

Malcolm Deas, the British historian who has written on the role of grammar and power in Colombia, most be loving it: Congress members debating Uribe's re-election referendum had to call in a special grammatical Swat team to debate the pluperfect participle used in the referendum to figure out if it allowed the president to have a third term concurrently or non-concurrently. Link

Me imagino que a Malcolm Deas, el historiador brítanico que ha escrito sobre el papel de la gramática en las formas del poder político en Colombia (citado aquí), le gusta el bororó del referendo de reelección, en que se ha tenido que llamar a un escuadrón de respuesta rápida de la Academia Colombiana de la Lengua para pronunciar sobre la interpretación de un "participio pluscuamperfecto." Enlace

Human Terrain Systems Handbook Leaked

Anthropologist David Price describes the training Handbook of the embedded anthropologists in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here

The recently leaked (unclassified) Human Terrain Team Handbook (September 2008) reflects Human Terrain’s vision that by aiding in the more sensitive occupation of populations, Human Terrain Teams are reducing violence. The Handbook states that, “the end-state of Human Terrain Team support is to provide the unit the reasons why the population is doing what it is doing and thereby providing non-lethal options to the commander and his staff.” This statement expresses the Handbook’s internal logic that: anthropologically based non-lethal subjugation = good; lethal subjugation = bad. The Handbook ignores more traditional political and ethical considerations of anthropologists’ responsibilities following a logic more aligned with notions that subjugation of other cultures = bad. Such traditional anthropological considerations are outside the logical scope of the Handbook; it takes anthropologically aided subjugation as an acceptable goal from the outset.


RIAA will stop suing music file-sharers...

... and will just unilaterally and without recourse cut off internet access for people making files available. Link This isn't too great either.


CFP: "Representing Music—or—Music Representing"

CALL FOR PAPERS AND PARTICIPANTS: "Representing Music—or—Music Representing"
City University of New York Graduate Students in Music 12th Annual Symposium

Saturday, 25 April 2009
CUNY Graduate Center, New York City

Led and moderated by LEO TREITLER, Distinguished Professor of Music Emeritus, CUNY Graduate Center

The CUNY Graduate Center's Music Ph.D.-D.M.A. program invites applications from graduate students for participation in its Twelfth Annual Graduate Students in Music Symposium (GSIM 2009)—this year, a collaborative, interactive event on the theme "Representing Music—or—Music Representing," to be held on Saturday, 25 April 2009 at the CUNY Graduate Center. The symposium will consist of two parts: a morning seminar for the selected participants, conducted by Professor Treitler; and an afternoon workshop, moderated by Professor Treitler, in which a selected number of student papers will be the focus for group discussion and critique.

The symposium will focus on the intersections between theories of musical meaning and musical discourse. (Please see the attached essay by Prof. Treitler for a more extensive prompt.) Students in all music disciplines are encouraged to apply, especially those interested in hermeneutics, criticism, aesthetics, semiotics, metaphor, theories of language, and narratology.

Students wishing to apply as participants must write a brief (100-word) statement about their experience and/or interest in the topic of the study day. The statement must also include the applicant's name, institution, e-mail address, and phone number. Participation will be limited to 15 students; selection will be random. Applicants are advised that the selected participants will be responsible for several reading and writing assignments in advance of the symposium, and for actively contributing in seminar and paper workshop discussions.

Students wishing to propose papers for the paper workshop must submit a 300-word abstract with title, and a separate cover letter with the author's name, institution, e-mail address, and phone number. Proposals will be read by the Program Committee with names of the authors withheld. Applicants are advised that authors of the selected papers will be required to distribute their completed papers to all participants two weeks before the symposium. Those applicants whose papers are not selected will automatically be included in the pool of potential participants (described above); for applicants submitting abstracts, there is no need to also submit the 100-word statement of interest.

All materials and questions may be sent to gsim.cuny.2009@gmail.com. Applications must be received by 1 Feburary 2009.

More New School protests

More on the New School hullaballoo. Dining hall occupied, university President tomoatoed.



"Capt. Nemo": Ghettotech designer of homemade Colombian drug subs / Malicia indígena: "Capt. Nemo," diseñador de los narcosumersibles

Tengo que confesar una pequeña obsesión con el tema de los narcosumersibles, de los cuales he tratado antes en este blog. Pues ahora sí cayó su diseñador, un tumaqueño con el muy apropiado nombre de pila de Capt. Nemo. En un artículo del Los Angeles Times (aquí traducido al español por Google), explican el diseño:

una elegante forma de "V" del casco; una robusta quilla, que es la espina dorsal del barco, y un sistema de escape que hace que el barco parece un monstruo de las profundidades...los buques que miden hasta 60 pies de largo y equipado con complejos sistemas de lastre, comunicaciones y sistemas de energía. Ellos normalmente tenían motores de diesel de 350-caballos de fuerza, y los cuatro tripulantes tenían lo último en radio, GPS y teléfono satelital.Los subs tienen una extensión de 2000 millas, más que suficiente para ir de aquí para la Bahía de Tehuantepec en México, un destino favorecido...
Sé que es por mal y todo, pero vacana la astucia de Capt. Nemo.

Fernando Vergara / Associated Press (from http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-captainnemo14-2008dec14,0,1166020.story)

I have to confess a slight obsession with homemade Colombian drug subs, which I've mentioned before on this blog. Well, they finally got the designer, a commerical shrimper for Tumaco known by the appropriate sobriquet of Captain Nemo. The LA Times has a full acount, including some of the design principles:

"He had a marvelous criminal vision," Colombian navy Capt. Luis German Borrero said. "He introduced innovations such as a bow that produced very little wake, a conning tower that rises only a foot above the water and a valve system that enables the crew to scuttle the sub in 10 minutes. He is very ingenious."

Portocarrero's craft are difficult for counter-narcotics officials to detect on the open seas because their tiny wake creates a negligible radar "footprint." Also, authorities say, the exhaust is released through tubing below the surface, frustrating patrol aircraft's heat-sensing equipment....

Portocarrero's vessels measured up to 60 feet long and were outfitted with complex ballast, communications and power systems, officials said. They were typically powered by 350-horsepower diesel engines, and the four-man crew had state-of-the-art radio, GPS and satellite telephone communications. The subs have a range of 2,000 miles, more than enough to get from here to Mexico's Bay of Tehuantepec, a favored destination, Borrero said.


Musicians condemn use of their songs as instruments of war

... music played at unbearable volumes has been frequently deployed in Guantánamo Bay and elsewhere by the CIA, as part of a sophisticated portfolio of torture against detainees.Now the music world is hitting back. A collective of bands and artists, including some whose recordings have been used against their wishes, have come together to demand the US stops using their work as an instrument of war.

Bruce Springsteen has already voiced anger at how Born in the USA has been devalued in this fashion. Now, on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he has been joined by artists including Massive Attack, Elbow, Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello, UNKLE's James Lavelle, Matthew Herbert, the Magic Numbers and Bill Bailey. Their protest will include minutes of silence at concerts and festivals.


Egghead revolution at the New School

Arjun Appadurai posits the knuckle-scape for unpopular university president.




Another Latino immigrant beaten to death by strangers

What the fuck is going on in New York these days?

Says The Times

The two brothers from Ecuador had attended a church party and had stopped at a bar afterward. They may have been a bit tipsy as they walked home in the dead of night, arm-in-arm, leaning close to each other, a common tableau of men in Latino cultures, but one easily misinterpreted by the biased mind. Suddenly a car drew up. It was 3:30 a.m. Sunday, and the intersection of Bushwick Avenue and Kossuth Place in Bushwick, Brooklyn, a half-block from the brothers’ apartment, was nearly deserted — but not quite. Witnesses, the police said, heard some of what happened next.

Says The Post
Moments later, a maroon SUV occupied by three black men pulled up while the brothers were holding each other by the arms, cops said. Believing the brothers were gay, one of the black men spewed, "Check out those f----ts over there," police said. The trio then jumped out of the SUV with the driver brandishing an aluminum bat and accosted the two brothers, cops said. As one of the suspects shouted, "Fuck you, Spanish people," the bat-wielding driver allegedly bashed Sucuzhanay in the head, crushing his skull.
Jose Osvaldo Sucuzhanay, 31, the Ecuadorian owner of a local real estate agency, was taken off life support and died.


Conference: Reconfigurations of Racism and New Scenarios of Power After 2001 / Reconfiguraciones del racismo y nuevos escenarios de poder

Reconfigurations of Racism and New Scenarios of Power After 2001
Reconfiguraciones del racismo y nuevos escenarios de poder despues del 2001

December 8 and 9, 2008 at the Campus Center, Reading Room, University of Massachusetts Amherst .

Since the 2001 World Conference against Racism, held in Durban , South Africa , in 2001, Latin America has emerged as a primary region in global constellations of racial politics and race-specific policies. The rise of Black movements across the region has been met by the elaboration for the first time of state policies explicitly designed for Afro-descendant populations. Yet social indicators reveal that the majority of the Afro-Latinos still suffer from serious social inequalities and persistent political and economic disenfranchisement. This international conference brings together leading Black movement activists and specialists in comparative race relations to assess the status of racial inequality, the current state of racial politics, and the efficacy of racial policies pertaining to Afro-descendants in the Latin American region and, comparatively, in the Americas as a whole since Durban.

Desde la Conferencia Mundial 2001 en contra de racismo que tomó lugar en Durban, Suráfrica, en 2001, América Latina ha sobresalido como una primera región en las constelaciones globales de políticas raciales y específicas a razas. El auge de los movimientos negros en la región ha enfrentado con la elaboración por primera vez de políticas estatales explícitmante diseñadas por poblaciones afrodescendientes. Mas los indicadores sciales revelan que la mayoría de los Afro-latinos siguen sufriendo de las inequidades cosiales y persistente marginalzación política y económica. Esta conferencia internacional convoca activistas sobresalientes del movimiento negro y especialistas en relaciones raciales comparativas para medir el estado de las inequidades raciales, de las políticas raciales, y la eficacia de las políticas raciales a facvor de los afrodescendientes en la región latinoamericana y, comparativamente, en Ámerica generalmente.

Confirmed speakers include:
Entre los ponentes estarán:
Jhon Anton (Corporación de Desarrollo Afroecuatoriana, Ecuador); María Inés Barbosa (UNIFEM); Humberto Brown (Alianza Estratégica Afro-descendiente); Nirva Camacho, Red de Organizaciones Afro-Venezolanas); Epsy Campbell (Black Latin American Parliament, Costa Rica); Suely Carneiro (Geledés, Brazil); Sergia Galvan (Red de Mujeres Afro latinoamericanas, Caribeñas y de la Diaspora); Libia Grueso (Observatorio de Discriminación Racial-Universidad de los Andes, Proceso de Comunidades Negras); Joseph Jordan (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill); Claudia Mosquera (Universidad Nacional de Colombia-Bogota); Tianna Paschel (Uiversity of California at Berkeley); Seth Racusen (Anna Maria College); Matilde Ribeiro (Former Minister of Racial Equality, Brazil); Romero Rodríguez (Mundo Afro, Uruguay); Rosita Romero (Centro de Desarrollo de la Mujer Dominicana); Edward Telles (Princeton University); J. Michael Turner (Caribbean Cultural Center, GALCI) and Tukufu Zuberi (University of Pennsylvania).

For program details and other information, please contact the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies, UMass Amherst at 413-545-4648, write to us at afrolat@polsci.umass.edu, or consult our website at http://www.umass.edu/clacls/events.htm


Mapping recent conflict in Congo

With increased fighting this month, Congo has been in the news recently. As someone well-acquainted with the difficulties of exaplining the complexities of the civil war in Colombia, its history, and its actors, this little video from The Economist was useful for me to get a basic handle on what's been going on in Congo.

Latinoamérica empieza a descubrir al escritor caleño Andrés Caicedo

El escritor chileno Alberto Fugue ha sacado un libro distilado de las cartas personales y críticas de cine del jóven autor de "Que viva la música."

"... me pareció irresistible descubrir que en el país de Gabriel García Márquez había existido un escritor que se había adelantado a McOndo".

Photo: Semana.com


Graduate Student Detained in Iran

Esha Momeni, a graduate student in media and journalism and media studies at California State University-Northridge, was released on US$200,000 bail after being arrested and detained by the Iranian police after a minor traffic stop. The AAA Committee for Human Rights signed onto a letter for her release. You can read more about this story in the LA Times and on For Esha, a blog created by Momeni’s classmates and colleagues.

Wierd instuments blog / Blog de instrumentos raros


Wierd instruments like:
Instrumentos raros como:

The Wheelharp

Contrabass saxophone (Eb)

The sandata ng lolo ni tatay
(Arma del padre de mi abuelo /
Weapon of my grandfather's father)

No sound sample but it's by a dude in a Filipino experimental band that plays instruments made entirely out of found objects. And it look cool.

No tiene .mp3 pero fue hecho por un miembro de un grupo experimental filipino que hace instrumentos de objetos encontrados)

The Viennese Vegetable Orchestra

The very wierd-sounding Daxophone


The Harmonic Generator



From Mambo to Hip Hop

City Lore header
City Lore www.citylore.org November 24 , 2008

From Mambo to Hip Hop -THE EXHIBIT

Club Native
Courtesy of Benny Bonilla

Opening Reception
Friday, December 5th, 6:30-8:30 pm

The Point CDC
542 Garrison Avenue (at the corner of Manida), The Bronx

Featuring DJ Grandmaster Caz of the Cold Crush Brothers
And the premiere of the "From Mambo to Hip Hop" rap by Roberto Sanabria

A photographic exhibit featuring the works of Bronx photographers Joe Conzo Jr., Francisco Reyes, Tom Pich, and Carlos Ortíz, as well as hip hop documentarians Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant. The photos convey images of the Bronx, its Latin music history and the origins of hip hop.

A screening of the ALMA award winning documentary, "From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale." And pre-order forms to get your own DVD of the documentary which will be available soon. Refreshments will be served.

Take the #6 to Hunts Point. Cross the Bruckner Blvd. and take a right on Garrison. The Point is one block down on your left.

For more information please call 212.529.1955 ext 305 or 306.

Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts

City Lore | www.citylore.org | 72 East 1st St. New York, NY 10003 t | 212.529.1955 f | 212.529.5062 e | info@citylore.org

Updated address and time:



for From Mambo to Hip Hop - Exhibit Opening Reception

TIME: 7:30pm - 9:30pm

Friday, December 5th

The Point CDC

940 Garrison Avenue (at the corner of Manida), The Bronx

Colombian immigration to NY / Inmigración colombiana a NY


The recession and the academic job market

The Chronicle reveals that, among other things, some of the humanities might be in trouble, Tufts has a hiring freeze, while the University of Hawaii will be turning off the A/C nights and weekends:

Pre-Doc Minority Fellowship

The Gaius Charles Bolin Fellowships at Williams College are designed to promote diversity on college faculties by encouraging students from underrepresented groups to complete a terminal graduate degree and to pursue careers in college teaching.

The Bolin Fellowships are two-year residencies at Williams, and three scholars or artists are appointed each year. Fellows devote the bulk of the first year to the completion of dissertation work­or in the case of MFA applicants, building their professional portfolios­while also teaching one course as a faculty member in one of the College's academic departments or programs. The second year of residency (ideally with degree in hand) is spent on academic career development while again teaching just one course.
Gaius Charles Bolin was the first black graduate of Williams. The fellowship program was founded in 1985, on the centennial of his admission to the College.

The Bolin Fellowships are awarded to applicants from underrepresented groups, including ethnic minorities, those who are first-generation college graduates, women in predominantly male fields, or disabled scholars.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents who intend to pursue a professorial career in the U.S., and must have completed all doctoral work except the dissertation by the end of the current academic year. MFA candidates who will receive their degrees in 2009 are also eligible to apply.

The annual stipend for the position is $33,000. The College will also provide health and dental benefits, housing assistance, academic support including office space and computer and library privileges, and an allowance of up to $4,000 for research-related expenses.
During the period of residence at Williams, the Bolin Fellows will be affiliated with an appropriate department or program, and will be expected to teach one one-semester course each year, normally in the fall semester of year one and the spring semester of year two.

Candidates should submit two full sets in hard copy (electronic applications will not be accepted) of each of the following materials, to be received by December 1, 2008:

  • a cover letter with a description of teaching interests within one of the departments or programs at Williams;
  • a full curriculum vitae;
  • a graduate school transcript and three confidential letters of recommendation;
  • PhD applicants: a copy of the dissertation prospectus, preferably limited to 10-15 pp., and a timetable for completion of the degree.
  • Post MFA applicants: project description and representations of work, as described below (self-addressed stamped envelope required for return of originals):
o Writers: 2-3 short stories, 10-15 poems, or novel passages not to exceed 50 pages;
o Visual Artists: 20 images (35 mm slides or DVDs);
o Theatre Artists: video documentation of work performed or directed; digital or hard-copy sample of design portfolio;
o Musicians: complete list of works or significant performances, plus 3 scores or recordings of compositions/performances;
o Choreographers/Dancers: video documentation of performance;
o Film and Video: DVDs as appropriate.

Respond To:
William G. Wagner
Dean of the Faculty - GCBDF
Williams College
P.O. Box 141
Williamstown, Massachusetts 01267

Candidates will be notified of the Selection Committee's decision by early March, 2009.

El MTV de la guascarrilera

Excelente artículo que salió en la Revista Arcadia.Com de Semana.

La música popular está moviendo millones de pesos en Colombia.

Ídolos y estrellas que para muchos son desconocidos son los protagonistas de los videos de un canal de televisión que, de manera silenciosa, es todo un fenómeno.

Daniel Pacheco*

En solo dos años, las ventas de música popular pasaron de representar el 3% de la facturación de Codiscos al 18%. Quizá la explicación de este magnífico crecimiento se deba al fenómeno de Radiola, el canal de Telmex que pasa videos de artistas jóvenes. Muchos se horrorizan con los videos de música norteña, por su insólito grado de cursilería. Pero resulta que mueven masas. La mayoría de los 6817 vecinos de Capitanejo, Santander, se agolpaba en la entrada de la plaza de toros esperándolo. Cuando la camioneta en la que viajaban Menardo Ariza y su grupo de música norteña, Los Chicanos del Norte, desaceleró frente a la multitud y la gente reconoció la cara asombrada de Menardo detrás del vidrio, se armó tal romería que el señor alcalde tuvo que tomar medidas inmediatas. “Vaya dese una vueltica mientras sus músicos instalan el sonido, y en una hora yo lo recojo y lo entro en otro carro”, le dijo.

Menardo no cabía de la dicha mientras dejaba atrás a cientos de mujeres medio desmayadas con bolígrafos en la mano. Un par de veces lo habían reconocido en Bogotá, pero esto “era como si llegara Giovanny Ayala: una cosa increíble”. Ese lunes festivo, 18 de agosto, después de 12 años de carrera musical, fue la primera vez que a Menardo lo ovacionaban “tan lejos de donde yo nunca había cantado en la vida”. La alegría no era para menos, si a uno lo conocen en un remoto pueblo, ¿por qué no en el resto del mundo? El ‘rolls royce’ musical Antes de su presentación, Menardo ya había entrado al corazón de los hogares de Capitanejo a través de la señal de Radiola TV, el mtv de la música popular colombiana. Lo mismo habia hecho en Puerto Rico (Caquetá), Los Ángeles (Estados Unidos), Sogamoso (Boyacá), Lima (Perú), y los demás países de América y Europa donde es posible comprar los canales de Telmex. Telmex tomó el control de Radiola TV hace un año, cuando compró Cablecentro. Desde entonces Radiola se volvió un promotor importante de la música y la imagen de más de 600 artistas de música popular.

El equipo de dos personas que programa los videos amplió la antigua torta musical de cuatro a 22 horas, haciendo revisiones diarias a emisoras y contactos con las disqueras. Pero sobre todo, Radiola abrió las puertas a artistas debutantes aplicando la ética empresarial de Telmex: no pide plata para pasar videos, como ocurre en muchas emisoras. La torta de Radiola se cocina con la receta de Carlos Mario Zapata, director de canales musicales de Telmex: 20% artistas “consagrados” y 80% talento nacional poco conocido. Los géneros musicales que caben dentro de la sombrilla de música popular se agrupan de una manera un poco arbitraria. Música popular es todo lo que uno se puede encontrar en una tarima de pueblo, con la excepción de vallenato, salsa y tropical, es decir: música norteña, ranchera, canción popular, bambuco, carranga, guasca, llanera y carrilera. Para sorpresa del mismo Zapata, que también dirige K Music, el otro canal musical de Telmex, Radiola se convirtió en el ‘rolls royce’ de su portafolio. Actualmente recibe un promedio de dos videos diarios, muchos entregados por los mismos artistas que los interpretan.

En el catálogo de este año suenan alrededor de trescientos artistas, y trescientos más han debutado con al menos un video. La respuesta de la audiencia también ha sido masiva. Cuando Radiola abre sus líneas por espacio de una hora para recibir peticiones del público, entran alrededor de cuarenta llamadas de todos los rincones del Colombia, a lo que se suman los correos electrónico de ocho países donde compatriotas nostálgicos han comprado el canal. Del pueblo a la ciudad En la industria musical se oye hablar del “fenómeno de la música popular”. En el 2007, el cantautor Jhonny Rivera recibió disco de oro por las 15.000 copias vendidas del album Soy soltero. El éxito del mismo nombre se ha convertido en un himno popular que se repite en las emisoras con mayor audiencia, Radio Uno y La Vallenata, y ocasionalmente hasta en La Mega. Con el punteo pegajoso de la música tradicional antioqueña Johnny Rivera relata el dilema, sin clase ni color, de la vida.

Él dice: “Soy un hombre soltero, no tengo compromiso. Tengo un corazón muy grande, muy fiel y muy leal; puedo querer a muchas y a todas por igual”. Su banda le responde: “Eso no es vida, ay no no no, eso no es vida”. Y Jhonny conluye: “Si eso no es vida, ¿entonces qué es la vida?”. Como bien se lee en el eslogan de Radiola TV, Jhonny Rivera apela a “los sentimientos de siempre”, y añadiría, de todo el mundo. Vivimos en un país con un machismo rampante en todos los sexos y todos los estratos, y si algo se puede rescatar de este rasgo cultural es que sirve para hacer muy buenas canciones y vender discos. Codiscos, la disquera nacio- nal más grande, y cuarta en el mercado colombiano, ha sido una de las promotoras principales de artistas de música norteña y popular. Fernando López, vicepresidente, entiende que el éxito está en que se “pasó de la apología del delito, a la música que le canta al amor, le canta al sentimiento”. Por supuesto, López se ve sobrecogido por el género al ver que las ventas de discos de música popular en Codiscos pasaron de 3% a 18% en los últimos dos años.

Aunque es impresionante que estos artistas logren vender más de 15.000 discos en un mercado azotado por la piratería, la tajada más jugosa se encuentra en las presentaciones en vivo. Codiscos maneja el booking (la agenda de presentaciones) de varios de sus artistas, que en los momentos de alta popularidad logran hacer hasta cuatro presentaciones por semana, a precios que oscilan entre los 15 y los 30 millones de pesos. La piratería de discos cambió el negocio de la música trasladando los focos de ganancia. Especialmente con los artistas nacionales, quienes, además de grabar sus discos y videos en el país, están disponibles para hacer giras en todo el terriotorio nacional. Esto puede hacer que valga más dinero tener el booking de Giovanny Ayala que ser la disquera de Madonna en Colombia. Es teticas Es dificil no asociar la música popular con tetas falsas, pelo pintado, caballos y enchapes de mármol.

La explosión del video como medio necesario en la promoción de los artistas trasladó la estética musical del sonido a la imagen. Esto vale tanto para los artistas reconocidos como Giovanny Ayala, quien incluye un dvd con su cd, como para los menos famosos como el cantante de carranga Juancho el jornalero y los Ruan Stars. Hoy en día a los músicos que buscan vivir de su trabajo les preguntan por su video tanto en los pueblos como en las grandes disqueras. El resultado del videoboom es un gran contraste visual que se recrea en Radiola TV. Después de un video de Intocable (ídolo actual de la música norteña) filmado en 35 mm, aparece el de Rastrojo; una guasca carrilera, filmada con cámara casera en un botadero de basura con una vista a Pereira. Para Radiola TV esto representa un reto para lograr los estándares de calidad que persigue Telmex. Carlos Zapata lo asume como una labor pedagógica. “Yo le digo, Rastrojo hermano, la próxima no te me parés donde hay basura”.

La lucha también es por lograr tomas con movimiento, videos con guión y cintas sin el celular del cantante, su hermano y por si acaso su mamá. Al imponer criterios para mejorar los videos de música popular se corre el riesgo de no reconocer que es una estética que se caracteriza por ser marginal. Por mucho que las letras invoquen sentimientos universales, la música del pueblo nos muestra el mundo desde sus propios ojos. Una perspectiva poco común en un mundo de medios que comunican siempre sus miradas del pueblo. Por otro lado, defender la difusión de lo que el sentido común llamaría “mal gusto”, implicaría que está bien que el pueblo haga videos descuidados y ramplones. El debate sobre si lo popular deja de existir cuando se le imponen criterios es más interesante en la música mexicana; donde son comunes los graneros y los cubos de heno, típicos de las escenas rurales gringas. En Colombia, donde Giovanny es el modelo, falta mucho camino para la normalización de lo popular. El video del superéxito “De rodillas te pido” no tiene una sino dos monas, escena de sexo, y lo mejor, un amigo de Giovanny montando a caballo en la mitad de un corral con piso de tierra, que detiene la música y con botella de Buchanan’s en la mano grita, “Giovanny Ayala, así es que se canta ¡hijueputa!”, estrellando la botella contra el piso, que mágicamente se vuelve de baldosas. |


Hot concert: Georgian vocal polyphony + trad instrumental/jazz/rock/flamenco

Georgian vocal polyphony + trad instrumental/jazz/rock/flamenco (…”world music”…)

next Saturday, November 29 at the Thalia at Symphony Space.

The band is called The Shin, comprised of three native Georgians based in Germany. This concert will be their NY/US/Western hemisphere debut and their only performance this trip. All proceeds will benefit Georgian studies at Columbia’s Harriman Institute.

Details are here: http://www.symphonyspace.org/event/2862?source=calendar

Thank the Yankees

I don't usually post this stuff on this blog, but since I don't have another one...

There are a few teams with high ceilings for spending, that can carry other teams, through profit sharing, and large turnouts when said teams come to town. Many teams reap the benefits of a higher drawing team visiting their venue, thus raising profits because of the popularity of the visiting team.

Maybe you benefit through profit sharing from teams like the Yankees, or you're the ones mentioned who gain more sales when they come to town. One way or the other, your discontent with the Yankees may be misdirected. Perhaps, instead of loathing and discrediting them for their efforts, you might consider saying thank you instead. In reality, folks that read this argument should express appreciation to the Yankee organization for their business practices as it could be considered the very heart beat of baseball as a whole.

The article has other pro-Yankees arguments, like the fact that some of the Yanks' best players are home-grown, not hired guns, and that money does not always equal quality (I mean, look at Tampa Bay!)


Seminario-Taller: Patrimonio Musical e Investigacíon - Las Músicas populares y tradicionales en procesos de creación y divulgación

La Fundación Nueva Cultura, conjuntamente con la Universidad Santo Tomás y la Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá, convocan a investigadores, músicos de oficio, periodistas culturales, comunicadores, docentes, estudiantes de música, profesionales de las ciencias humanas y de disciplinas afines entre otros, a compartir durante 3 días consecutivos (sábado 29, domingo 30 de noviembre y lunes 1 de diciembre próximo), un interesante evento de tipo académico y cultural, cuyo propósito fundamental consiste en socializar trabajos de investigación, publicaciones discográficas, producciones documentales, obras editoriales, además de fortalecer la actividad investigativa de las músicas tradicionales y populares en Colombia, así como también, poner en evidencia el valor patrimonial de las expresiones sociales y culturales en las que ellas se insertan: festivales, encuentros, fiestas populares, etc., y sus nexos con las prácticas sonoras de las llamadas nuevas músicas colombianas.

Serán tres días en los cuales habrá espacio para discutir, estudiar y analizar la complejidad y la riqueza cultural de las prácticas musicales regionales en Colombia, a partir de las propuestas de maestros de amplia trayectoria musical y académica.

Conferencias: Eliécer Arenas Monsalve, Ana María Arango, María Eugenia Londoño, Alejandro Mantilla.

Presentaciones de trabajos investigativos: Jorge Sossa, Fabián Forero, Efraín franco, Santiago Niño, Omar Romero, Dora Carolina Rojas, Leonidas Valencia y Manuel Antonio Rodríguez.

Talleres: Investigación Creación a cargo de Luis Fernando Franco

Investigación Docencia a cargo de Jorge Franco

Investigación Divulgación a cargo de Gustavo Adolfo Renjifo

Para el último día (lunes 1 de diciembre), se tiene previsto realizar una plenaria de conclusiones y de síntesis, en la cual se hará entrega de certificaciones tanto a participantes y observadores, como a los expositores.

Mayores informes de costos e inscripciones en la Fundación Nueva Cultura administrativa@nuevacultura.org.co



María Teresa (Mayté) Ropaín

Teléfono 315-7638014

Tel 2441640 2698468

Fax 2698474


· Sábado 29 de noviembre: Conferencias y presentaciones de trabajos.

HORA: De 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Aula Magna y auditorio Fundadores)

· Domingo 30 de noviembre: Talleres

HORA: De 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Sala Torreón)

· Lunes 1 de diciembre talleres y plenaria

HORA: De 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Sala Torreón)

LUGAR: Universidad Santo Tomás.

Carrera 9 No 51-11

Bogotá- Colombia.

Invita Bienestar Universitario de la Universidad Santo Tomás


Quid pro quo: Detroit bailout for Colombia FTA? / Bush le dará plata a la industria de automóviles si Obama aprueba el TLC con Colombia?

The Times is saying of the Bush-Obama meeting last week that Bush agreed to approve a bailout of the auto industry (literally 3 million jobs are at risk, mind you) in return for Obama's agreement to support the FTa with Colombia. Obama's chief of staff says the one has nothing to do with the other.

Según el NY Times (enlace, inglés), en su reuníon con Obama de la otra semana, Bush prometió plata para los tres grandes compañias fabricadoras de automóviles (qu están por derrumbarse, son la suerte de 3 millones de trabajadores env ilo) si Obama se compromete a aprobar el TLC con Colombia. El jefe del estado mayor de Obama dice que no tienen que ver el uno con el otro (enlace, inglés).


Cantantes populares ya les sacaron música a 'pirámides'

"Pongan cuidado señores
lo que les vengo a contar
por eso de las pirámides
nadie quiere trabajar
miren la fila tan larga
que hay que hacer pa' consignar
yo con esos intereses
hasta me lo hago ...
mamá me lo dijo un día
no meta la plata allá
porque esta gente es muy viva
y lo van es a robar".

(Si estás pensando ¿cómo así que pirámides? mirá aquí y acá).

CFP: Musical Heritage: Movement and Contacts, in Montréal

The Laboratoire de recherche sur les musiques du monde (LRMM - OICCM) in association with the Canadian Society for Traditional Music (CSTM) invites you to its international conference, Musical Heritage: Movement and Contacts, in Montréal (Canada) from October 29th to November 1st 2009. Abstract submissions are now accepted. Please find attached to this message the French and English call for papers as well as a poster. Please pass on this information to anyone wishing to submit a proposal.


NYC Music Grads Unite!

CFP: Sound in Circulation:

Technologies, histories, methods, and practices

The Columbia Music Scholarship Conference invites graduate students to submit abstracts to be selected for presentation at our sixth annual meeting, which will take place on March 7, 2009 at Columbia University. We are soliciting proposals from scholars active in all music disciplines, as well as those in related fields (for example media studies, communications, cultural studies, history, anthropology, area studies, law) to submit abstracts.

Music has been the leading form of creative work circulated through internet networks and as such has enjoyed broad scholarly and public debate in the last few years. The questions of sound in circulation – how authors prepare sound to travel in time and space, how those sounds move through time and space, and how listeners interact with those sounds – are much broader than that of file-sharing or digital media. For this conference we would like to broaden the question about sound in circulation to include many technologies, methods, and practices of circulating sound among specific historical, geographic, and/or cultural groups.

How do people of each time and context decide what is the mode of representation for sound in transport? What factors influence this thinking? How do economics, politics, traditions, laws, beliefs, and technologies shape and get shaped by people’s desire to circulate sound? How do musicians, composers, improvisers, and sound engineers act as nodes in musical circulation?

We welcome a broad response to questions such as these and suggest topics such as the following: orality and literacy; music in the oral tradition; transmission, learning, and memory; bodily techniques of transmission and circulation; music flows in diasporic communities; transnational music flows; the history of musical transcription, notation, and arranging; music publishing, printing, and sales; public or private concert histories; the social history of phonography; norms, rules, and laws of music circulation; public access to circulated sound technologies; changing sound circulation networks; grey or black market circulation; sounds in archives; musicians and works on tour, and so on.

Abstracts of 250 words plus title should be submitted by December 1, 2008 to CMSC 09’s email address: soundincirculation@gmail.com . Please include your name and contact information in your email only, and attach the abstract as a Word, text, or .pdf file. The committee will select papers anonymously. All scholars who submit abstracts will be notified of the committee’s decision by December 12, 2008.

If you have questions, please visit our website at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cmsc/ or email to soundincirculation@gmail.com.



Racist attacks in NY area / Asaltos racistas en NY

  • Black teenager in States Island beaten by white kids yelling "Obama!" on election night. Link
  • Adolescente negro neoyorquino agredido por jóvenes blancos gritando "Obama!" la noche de la votación Enlace (castellano)

  • Ecuadorean "lynched" by 6 white kids and a 1/2 black 1/2 Rican friend, who went out looking to "get a Mexican," a pastime known in Long Island as "beaner jumping" Link
  • Ecuatoriano "linchado" por 6 jóvenes blancos y un 1/2 afro-americano 1/2 puertorriqueño quienes salieron a "cazar mexicanos" un pasatiempo conocido en Long Island con la frase peyorativa "atacar frijolero" Enlace (castellano)
Just as a side note, it should not be a surprise that one of these LI kids was 1/2 Puerto Rican. Even aside from this guy being in an all-white LI crowd, there is a pretty strong tension in this city, partially about citizenship, partially racial, between US-born Caribbean Latinos and first-generation South and Central Americans.

Parenteticamente, no debe sorporender que uno de estos muchachos en LI es 1/2 puertorriqueño. Aún aparte del hecho de que este tipo andaba esa noche con blancos, hay en esta ciudad una fuerte tensión, en parte sobre cuestiones de ciudadanía, en parte racial, entre los Latinos de ascendencia caribeña nacidos en el país, y los inmigrantes sur- y centro-americanos...


Miriam Makeba, RIP

Miriam Makeba, South African singer, activist, and icon, has died.
Miriam Makeba, la legendaria cantante, activista e ícono, ha muerto.

Here's a biography of her extraordinary life.
Una biografía (en español) de su extraordinaria vida aquí

Afinacíon de marimbas

De hace rato mi post sobre la afinación de las marimbas está ahí, pero sigue generando diálogo, lo que me encanta. Recientemente, dejó un comentario el profesor Carlos Miñana, quien escribió el primer estudio tratándose del tema. Para los interesados en este asunto un poco esotérico pero para mí muy interesante y, además, importante, les sugiero la sección de comentarios sobre el post original aquí.
Este é um convite inicial para o evento Música e Consciência Negra, a se realizar no Salão Leopoldo Miguez da Escola de Música da UFRJ, rua do Passeio 98 - Centro, às 19:00, em co-promoção do Movimento Funk é Cultura com o Laboratório de Etnomusicologia.

Cultura - 22/10/2008
Funk como manifestação cultural
Por Marianna Araujo

Há alguns anos atrás, qualquer brasileiro, se perguntado sobre o gênero musical genuinamente carioca, responderia samba. De meados dos anos 90 para cá, essa resposta não sai tão fácil, pois outro som passou a ecoar entre as vielas das comunidades e as pistas de dança da cidade. Assim como o samba, o funk se firmou como o som que é a cara do Rio de Janeiro e rapidamente tornou-se conhecido por todo o país.

Integrantes do Movimento Funk é Cultura. Foto: Blog Oicult
Integrantes do Movimento Funk é Cultura. Foto: Blog Oicult
O ritmo surgiu no rastro das inovações musicais dos negros norte-americanos nos anos 60. Foi a partir do soul, do jazz e de outros gêneros, que DJs brasileiros, sobretudo o DJ Malboro, desenvolveram o “som de preto e favelado” que animava os bailes cariocas ao final dos anos 80.
Na década seguinte, o funk tornou-se popular e saiu do Rio para ganhar o país. Canções como o Rap do Silva, Rap do Solitário e cantores como MC Marcinho, Sapão e Bonde do Tigrão caíram no gosto da juventude e contribuíram para afirmar a força do movimento.
Manifestação cultural da periferia
A popularização do ritmo, no entanto, trouxe consigo algumas mudanças. Como é comum acontecer com as manifestações culturais populares, setores das indústrias da cultura, sobretudo a fonográfica, perceberam o potencial mercadológico da música e a incorporaram entre seus produtos. Esse processo acaba por dar visibilidade a poucos artistas, além de ditar parâmetros para a produção, a partir de critérios midiáticos e de mercado.
MC Leonardo, cantor e compositor de funks, afirma que, desse modo, uma parcela específica de artistas e composições são privilegiados, em detrimento de outros tantos. “É preciso divulgar os trabalhos dos artistas que não estão se enquadrando no mercado apelativo”. Sobre esta questão, o manifesto do Movimento Funk é Cultura, ressalta que “sob o comando monopolizado de poucos empresários, a indústria funkeira tem uma dinâmica que suprime a diversidade das composições, estabelecendo uma espécie de censura no que diz respeito aos temas das músicas”.
MC Leonardo é um dos fundadores do Movimento que surgiu recentemente no Rio de Janeiro, procurando reunir artistas do gênero e fortalecer o funk enquanto manifestação cultural. Para os integrantes do Movimento, o gênero é hoje uma das maiores manifestações culturais de massa do país e “está diretamente relacionado aos estilos de vida e experiências da juventude de periferias e favelas”, afirmam em seu manifesto.
Representação do funk na mídia
Os participantes da iniciativa têm buscado, a partir da mobilização de artistas, levar adiante a criação da Associação de Profissionais e Amigos do Funk (APAFunk). Leonardo explica que a idéia da Associação surgiu da constatação da importância de se organizar para fortalecer o movimento. “Somente juntos poderemos lutar pra que o funk tenha papel social dentro das favelas, pois hoje é inviável desenvolver esse papel no mercado”, afirma o MC. A professora Adriana Facina, uma das idealizadoras do movimento, completa, afirmando que a APAFunk tem um papel fundamental na busca por “produzir espaços alternativos para a divulgação de uma produção musical que não encontra, hoje, lugar no mercado”.
Além de buscar divulgar o funk que está à margem da indústria da música e da mídia, a Associação também terá o papel de apoiar os artistas na garantia de seus direitos, oferecendo assessoria jurídica e de imprensa. Segundo Adriana, está última é importante porque notícias que associam o funk ao crime são freqüentes. “Se um jovem de classe média é assassinado na saída de uma boate da zona sul carioca ou de uma micareta, a imprensa não vai associar sua morte ao tipo de música que estava tocando nesses lugares”, afirma a professora.
O grupo do Movimento Funk é Cultura está reunindo recursos e construindo parcerias para legalizar a associação. Mas segundo seus integrantes, ela já existe de fato, principalmente por conta das rodas de funk que vêm organizando periodicamente e do festival que acontecerá em novembro. Adriana alerta que no dia 19 de novembro, haverá uma roda organizada pelo grupo, juntamente com o professor Samuel Araújo, na Escola de Música da UFRJ, em comemoração ao dia da consciência negra. “Já são milhares de pessoas que freqüentam nossas rodas, se emocionam. Gente de classes sociais diversas, de faixa etárias que vão de 0 a 80 anos, homens e mulheres, comprovando o potencial comunicativo que o funk tem”, conclui.
Ainda na busca por afirmar o ritmo como expressão cultural, o Movimento buscou apoio na esfera legislativa do Estado. Foram encaminhados dois projetos de lei, um na Assembléia Legislativa e outro na Câmara dos Deputados, elaborados pelos deputados Marcelo Freixo e Chico Alencar, respectivamente, que reconhecem o funk como manifestação cultural de caráter popular. Se aprovadas, as leis também garantirão que o gênero não poderá ser tratado de forma discriminatória. Adriana Facina ressalta que essa questão é relevante para que artistas e público possam “confrontar comandantes de batalhões e outros agentes privados ou do estado que impeçam a realização de bailes e festejos do funk”.
O que se vê é que, mesmo com seu sucesso e alcance, o gênero - e principalmente seus artistas - ainda são tratados com discrimação. A associação com o crime é apenas uma das formas de manifestar o preconceito. Há ainda quem afirme que a batida não pode ser considerada música ou que é apenas a expressão do vazio cultural que emana das periferias. Aos críticos, Adriana, que é professora da faculdade de história da UFF, responde, lembrando que “o gosto é uma construção histórica e de classe. Os que hoje se ofendem com a batida do funk são herdeiros culturais dos senhores de escravos que temiam os batuques vindos de suas senzalas, pois eles demonstravam a autonomia e a potência dos que estavam no cativeiro”. MC Leonardo faz coro à professora e conclui: “ver o funk como lixo cultural, é ir na contramão da história”.