Research Data Leeds Repository

Why didn’t you tell me this before? (Maybe you didn’t want to hear this side of the story)

Dal Farra, Ricardo (2016) Why didn’t you tell me this before? (Maybe you didn’t want to hear this side of the story). University of Leeds. [Dataset]

This item is part of the Alternative Histories of Electronic Music collection.

Dataset description

Who tells history? Who knows about it or who has the opportunity to do it? We can find several versions about the electroacoustic music history during the past century, most of them with subtle differences, but it is unusual to find references pointing to no “first-world” countries. In fact, this same conference is happening in one of the “central” countries where the history of the world seems to be written. Why is this happening? The political and economic instability in most Latin American countries has been deeply affecting the life of its inhabitants for decades. Support for artistic activities has usually been postponed to solve urgent social problems. In spite of that, the electroacoustic music development in the region is really astounding. Mauricio Kagel (Argentina, 1931 - Germany, 2008) composed eight electroacoustic studies in Argentina between 1950 and 1953, according to Hugh Davies’ Catalog. Kagel was among the many composers that were laying the foundations of a rich history of experimentation and creation in the region. Reginaldo Carvalho and Jorge Antunes in Brazil, León Schidlowsky and Juan Amenabar in Chile, Joaquín Orellana in Guatemala and Horacio Vaggione in Argentina are just a few names in the ocean of electroacoustic music creativity that has always been Latin America. The Cuban composer Juan Blanco registered in 1942 the description of a new musical instrument he named Multiorgan, based on 12 loops using magnetophonic wires. This predated the Mellotron -that changed the way of doing music- by many years but recent documentaries don’t even mention him or his device. Mexican engineer Raúl Pavón developed in 1960 an electronic musical instrument: the Omnifon. It was among the firsts voltage-controlled electronic sound synthesizers built. Fernando von Reichenbach invented in Argentina the Analog Graphic Converter in the 60s. It was used to transform graphic scores -from drawings done on a paper roll- into electronic control signals adapted to work with analog sound equipment. José Vicente Asuar produced in Chile a hybrid analog-digital computer system in the mid 70s exclusively devoted to create music. If you know about the history of electroacoustic music but didn’t hear about what has been happening in Latin America for the past 60 years or so, it is clear that something around has not been said. Maybe it was lost (in translation?) or for some reason didn’t show up in the official history (story?) If history is written by winners: are those persons named some of the losers of the electroacoustic music history? “Why didn’t you tell me this before?” is not just a presentation about pioneers and their creations but also a strong regard towards the way the electroacoustic music history has been reported and what is being done to that respect.

Subjects: W000 - Creative arts & design > W300 - Music
W000 - Creative arts & design > W300 - Music > W310 - Musicianship/performance studies > W316 - Electronic/electro-acoustic music performance
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures > School of Music
Related resources:
Date deposited: 27 Jul 2017 19:37



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