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Posts Tagged ‘Andean Music in Austin’

UT South American Music Ensemble

The UT South American Music Ensemble is housed in the Division of Musicology and Ethnomusicology at the Butler School of Music and has a long tradition at The University of Texas, first as the Andean Ensemble in the late 1980s and later performing as the Brazilian Ensemble. Today the group’s repertoire includes pieces from all of South America. The ensemble is open to music and non music majors on campus as well as to members of the broader Austin community. Those interested in joining the ensemble in Fall of 2010 can contact Josh Tucker at cjt@mail.utexas.edu.

The University of Texas South American Music Ensemble includes students at the undergraduate and graduate levels from across campus, as well as members of the Austin community interested in learning and performing music from South America. Some members of the ensemble have music backgrounds, others maintain close ties to Latin America. For many, the ensemble provides a point of entry for learning about Latin American languages and cultural expression.

Our repertoire changes each semester. This Spring our repertoire explores a wide range of musical genres including traditional huaynos from Peru and Bolivia, indigenous festival music performed on wooden flutes known as tarkas, Colombian vallenatos and joropos, Afro-Peruvian interpretations that use the percussion box known as the cajón and the quijada or donkey jaw bone rattle, and Venezuelan joropos featuring the cuatro and the maracas. We sing in Spanish, Aymara, and Quechua, and we encourage general and enthusiastic participation true to the spirit of participatory music making.

Part of the group’s mission is to share the music and culture of South America with the public through performances and music workshops. Our workshop for the public at Copa Bar and Grill in coordination with Alianza Cultural Latinoamericana (6:00-7:00 p.m.) will focus on the sikus or Andean panpipes, also known as zampon~as. The sikus are played in pairs, with each member of the set playing half of the musical scale and relying on his or her partner to complete the melody. Our method not only introduces participants at all levels to simple music notation, but also allows us to explore concepts of duality, reciprocity, and participation central to Andean aesthetics and worldview. Because the emphasis in Andean music is general participation, participants in the workshops will be invited to join the ensemble in the performance of two pieces. The group will perform from 7:00-8:00 p.m.

For more information please contact the director, Michelle Wibbelsman, at mwibbelsman@austin.utexas.edu.

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