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Page 00000001 CHANGE AND PERMANENCE IN LATINAMERICAN ELECTROACOUSTIC AND COMPUTER MUSIC. A COMPOSITIONAL APPROACH. Martin Alejandro Fumarola LEIM, National University of Cordoba Estafeta 56 RA-5001 C6rdoba ARGENTINA maralefo @hotmail.com ABSTRACT This paper is an analitical approach to how the latest Latinamerican electroacoustic and computer music has evolved with respect to that one of two and three decades ago, i.e., what elements remain and what elements have changed. The compositional features present in two stylistic and technological groups are considered: on the one hand the "pure Latinamerican contemporary music", and on the other hand, "the computer music group". I realized a compared analysis between two pieces, "Homenaje a la Flecha Clavada en el Pecho de Juan Diaz de Solis" by Coriun Aharonidn (Uruguay) belonging to the first group, and "Nahual II" by Roberto Morales-Manzanares (Mexico) of the second aforementioned group, taking into account the following analytical elements: the sense of time, discursiveness and non-discursiveness, use of reiterative elements, austerity, violence and taste for "little things", employment of silence, presence of the "primitive", cultural identity, in what manner technological means are taken in, and rupture of the borders. These analytical axis follow the framework expressed by Uruguayan musicologist Coriun Aharonian in his research article "Breaking Through Borders - An approach to compositional trends in Latin America". By contrasting the two pieces I try to establish the evolutive tendence between the two groups as drafted by the author in his paper "An Approach to a Latinamerican Computer Music ". In all cases, the compositional approach is stressed. I. INTRODUCTION There are just a few analitical or research articles referred to the compositional aspect of Latinamerican contemporary music. There is even less musicological or research work done regarding specifically to Latinamerican electroacoustic and computer music. For all types of Latinamerican contemporary music, in my view, the most significant investigations and conclusions belong to the Uruguayan musicologist Coriun Aharonidn. Even though the analitical and research works carried out by Dante Grela, Jose Vicente Asuar, Juan Amendbar, Ricardo Dal Farra, Pablo Freire, and several other Latinamericans, are of a very high level and consistency, they still follow more or less an European (or North American) methodology of analysis. It is not presumptuous to state that Coriun Aharonidn's analitical approach towards Latinamerican music (and towards all world new art music in general) is the first one that has a true Latinamerican orientation. At least a particular manner of analysing music is present, which is far off from the typical models normally imported from the industrial countries. Another people with a similar orientation to Aharoniain in their research or musicological work are, above all, Graciela Paraskevaidis, Joaquin Orellana, and Ivan Pequeiio Andrade as well as Mario Lavista, and Cergio Prudencio. In particular for electroacoustic and computer music, a kind of music very dependent on technology, it is a typical attitude (and sometimes a commonplace) to approximate to it from a technological or computational viewpoint exclusively, leaving the compositional aspect to an afar second position. Undoubtedly, Latinamerican electroacoustic music of the 90s uses more advanced technology than in the 60s and in the 70s but several Studios in the region still suffer an important lack of infraestructure. Moreover, all the technology and the majority of the software utilized in the computer music production by Latinamericans comes from the industrial countries. So the significant contribution takes place in the creative aspect and in the particular employment of the imported technology and software, and for those reasons I don't find of special interest to deepen in the technological aspect but on 1)the compositional side itself as well as on 2)the compositional aspect related to the technological and computational ones. To dwell on the technological aspect only, would be an aggiomrnated (and even reactionary) viewpoint of the aforementioned methodologies that follow the models of the central countries and would lay aside the regional. nolitical. and magical features of the Latinamerican nroduction. which are its most valuable asnects.
Page 00000002 II. METHODOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS I have previously put into evidence the risks of how to establish generalizations [Fumarola, 1996]. However, a generalization is necessary and unavoidable. With respect to this point, Aharoniin expressed: "Is there a way of generalizing about the composers of Latin America? It is obvious that any kind of theorizing on creative situations implies a prior "siding-with" position of deciding which compositions are significant and on who their authors are. Asepsis is impossible here, and I would like to make this clear. I can only determine trends, currents, lines, coincidences, when I start from a group of materials which I consider representative of what is composed in our countries. But my opinion already involves inclusions and exclusions. Every historical moment presents creators that are more or less active, more or less daring, more or less avantgardistic, and also creators that are more or less conservative. It does not seem appropiate to determine trends according to the later. And it is not easy to arrive at solid conclusions about with the former." [Aharonian, 1994] The generalizations I am taking for this paper are the same as I took before in another paper [Fumarola, 1996] and consists in grouping the whole Latinamerican electroacoustic and computer music production in two groups: "pure Latinamerican contemporary music" and "the computer music group". Of course we can refer to other trends such as "individual tendencies" and "intermediate paths" but the principal broad lines are the two first mentioned. For example, the piece "Vojm" by the Venezuelan woman composer Adina Izarra has elements of the two groups as well as "Tr6picos" by Alfredo Del Monaco. My exclusions are the pieces of reactionary connotations (for example, those ones which include uncompromised regional quotations close to a 'postcard' or to decorativism and very distant to an ideological awareness). A piece that is very representative of the compositional, technological, and aesthetical thinking of the first group is "Homenaje a la Flecha Clavada en el Pecho de Don Juan Diaz de Solis" by Coriun Aharonidn, and the corresponding one for the second group is "Nahual II" by the Mexican Roberto Morales. Other pieces that fit in the first group are, for instance, "Tramos" by Eduardo Bertola, "Humanofonia" by Joaquin Orellana, and "Parca" by Oscar Bazdn. For the second group, the following pieces are very good examples: "Tierra y Sol" by Ricardo Dal Farra, "Choi Hung" by Juan Reyes, "/cartas/rs95.car" by Aluizio Arcela, and "Callejuelas" by Martin Fumarola. By analizing a representative piece for each of the two groups, it is possible to determine which elements remain the same or similar and which are the new characteristics. We can establish a chronological line of evolution since the most productive period for the "pure Latinamerican contemporary music" were the decades of 1960, 1970 and the early 80s whereas for the "computer music group" its most prolific period begins in the middle 80s having its landmark in the decade of 1990. III. A LATINAMERICAN ANALITICAL METHODOLOGY The presence of an analitical model that follows a Latinamerican orientation instead of the usual axis of the European or North American ones was mentioned before. Without any doubt, Coriun Aharonidn is its main deviser with meaningful contributions from Graciela Paraskevaidis, Ivdn Pequefio Andrade, Joaquin Orellana, Mario Lavista, Cergio Prudencio, and others. But, what is an analitical model with a Latinamerican orientation? which are its main differencies with respect to the models of the industrial countries? These are its main features: 1)awareness of the colonial and imperialist implications of the traditional methodologies and its context. The following statements are paradigmatical: "One has always to be aware of imperialist penetration in the field of music, be this European or North American" [Lavista, 1994], "We are in a world cultural structure of colonial nature", and "There are preestablished geopolitical roles and socioculturally conditioned behaviors. In art music, the models are produced by the imperial metropolis" [Aharoniin, 1994]. The creation of new analitical methodologies (as well as of music of course) based on that awareness is at the same time the liberation of the domination, of the colonialism, and of the imperialism. 2)consideration of the political, ideological, and sociocultural elements present inside of a piece of music. The best example of this is the consideration given to the inclussion of direct quotations within a composition, which are classified as follows: A)those ones reflecting a compromise with the Latinamerican situation: poverty, frustration, deprivation, violence, etc., opposed to B)the quotations as "a mask, a postcard, or an exotic photograph" [Aharoniin, 1974]
Page 00000003 3)the necessity of producing cultural countermodels. 4)the expressive elements meaning liberation or acting against opression are more important than the technical ones. Since most research work done was realized by composers, all those characteristics are very linked to their compositional style. IV. COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS The consideration of the pieces by Coridn Aharonidn and Roberto Morales shows a clear chronological evolution, which is common to the other pieces belonging to each group. We could say that the qualitative changes concern to the following: Duration: the average duration of the pieces is now between 7-10 minutes. There are practically no pieces longer than 10 minutes in the "computer music group". A duration around 20 minutes was typical in the "pure Latinamerican contemporary music" group. Discursiveness: electroacoustic music is more discursive nowadays although we are still far of a plain 'discursive discourse'. The current syntax combines the chainign of sound cells in a continous process of development to the common structure of expressive blocks of 20 years ago. Technological means: strong concern and commitment with computing science and technology. In the 60s and the 70s mainly, an exclusive technological approach was considered a kind of colonial and imperialist penetration. Several composers try to reflect the Latinamerican flavor by using the cutting-edge computer music tools. Ideological orientation: there is a less ideologically oriented music. Direct quotations have now a more ethnical connotation instead of a political one and the music does not aspire to be 'revolutionary' in the marxist sense although it keeps its disquieting nature. Dal Farra's piece "Ashrim" is a good example of the latest. Computer music oriented composers are fond of the pacific co-existence between technology and ideology. The magic: some recent pieces have done even more explicit the trend pointed out by Mariano Etkin in the 70s refering to "going deeper and rediscovering the lost visceral and magical function of music" [Etkin, 1972]. "Nahual II", for instance, is inspired in the Mexican sorcerers. Other pieces addressing this line are: "Tierra y Sol" and "Ashrim" by Ricardo Dal Farra, "Angelus" by Alejandro Iglesias-Rossi, and "Shaguir" by Martin Fumarola. Expressive blocks: they have nowadays less sudden apparitions and have more directionality but they still have microprocesses occuring within them. Certain strokes of Latinamerican electroacoustic and computer music previously outlined [Fumarola, 1996] tend to have an important grade of permanence with little mutability: violence and taste for the "little things", presence of the "primitivism", austerity, cultural identity, and the use of silence. CONCLUSION Latinamerican electroacoustic and computer music has not stopped its evolutive line, it is having a permanent enrichment. The evolution that happened in the last 4 decades shows that while it is mantaining an international character, Latinamerican music has achieved a recognizable regional and pictouresque style having a dialectical capacity of self-transformation. I would risk in stating that nowadays we have a "post-modern" orientation because the ideological approach shares its place with the state-of the-art technological means: the Latinamerican flavor is clearly noticeable even though "universal" computer music tools are used. The pieces produced in the 90s by the "pure Latinamerican contemporary music" composers follows their aesthetical and compositional features but simultaneously are incorporating that state-of-the-art computer music technology. A lot of research work is still to be realized.
Page 00000004 REFERENCES [Aharonian, 1974] Coritin Aharonian. Programe Notes of his piece "Homenaje a la Flecha Clavada en el Pecho de Don Juan Diaz de Solis". [Aharonian, 1994] Coritin Aharonian. "Breaking Through Borders - An approach to compositional trends in Latin America". World New Music Magazine, 4, pp. 47-52, October 1994 [Etkin, 1972] "Reflexiones sobre la musica de vanguardia en America Latina". La Opinion newspaper. January 1972 [Fumarola, 1996] Martin Fumarola. "An Approach to a Latinamerican Computer Music". Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference 1996. September 1996. [Lavista, 1994] Mario Lavista. "In an environment of Renovating of Artistic Language". World New Music Magazine. pp. 41-44. October 1994