So what exactly do I ‘do’ as an ‘ethnomusicologist’?
Believe me. I know it’s a fancy pants name. But it’s actually a pretty straight-forward concept. Allow me to explain what I do in one sentence:
I take the musical capacities of one culture and explore how it might help the musical deficiencies and limitations of another.
And then I ask myself this big question: ‘What musical potential emerges from one culture that might be utilized to help another musical culture?’
The musical issues I explore: Many ‘classical’ players interpret the published scores of non-western musical forms with western conservatoire playing conventions, despite music of the ‘other’ as the core of its musical style (ie the tango). I draw upon a number of methodologies to further the understanding of a new musical languages, and how published scores that classical players frequently perform might be interpreted differently. At times I suggest going against the ‘norm’ of what classical conventions have deemed as ‘proper’ playing techniques so that new interpretations can be made.
Methodologies I use include long-term field work studying and playing in various locations, empirical recording analysis, score studies, qualitative discourse analyses, and vital cultural practices linked to the composers themselves. Along with modern ethnomusicological perspectives, I also draw upon my background as a western classically trained flute player coupled with my personal desire to tell a musical stories outside conventional ‘classical’ techniques.
Why it matters in the grand scheme: By contextualizing the exploration of ‘exotic’ musical genres and how it is ‘authentically’ perceived, one can delve into wider interpretation issues that occur as an ‘outsider’ performing a new genre of music.
But above all: My research aims to have a direct and practical application for ‘classical’ players’, and to provide a platform for new creativity in interpretation, and fresh approaches to commonly played scores to emerge.
Performance + Research Specialties: I am a specialist in the tango flute music of the Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla.
I also study in depth (and perform) the genres of the tango, bossa nova, choro, frevo, maxixe, samba and Bollywood.
Publications: For a full list of my publications, and to read some of them, please click here.
Further Research Output: For an up-to-date list of conference presentations, lecture recitals, and papers please see my CV here.