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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Este Futuro es Otro Futuro: The role of social discourse on the [under]development of contemporary academic electronic music in Perú

  • Author(s): López Ramírez Gastón, José Ignacio
  • Advisor(s): Puckette, Miller
  • et al.

This dissertation explores the history of Peruvian electroacoustic and electronic musical experimentation since its arrival to the country, while confronting the particular issues that have kept their practice from being academically embraced or implemented into the official channels for musical learning. It reviews the failures and successes of the Peruvian technologically based musical arts in front of the social structures and ideologies that have historically permeated all the cultural activities of the country. By moving away from a traditional technical and formalist approach that confronts academically based electroacoustic and electronic music from the perspective of the musical object, this work unveils the highly politicized history of responses towards these arts in Perú and the direct role of the particular nationalistic postcolonial models on their development or lack of it. It is within a plural and ambiguous set of nationalists, nativist, socialist, anti-foreign and indigenist ideologies, analyzed in this work, that we can identify a constant: the suspicion towards, and ultimately, the rejection of technologically based musical traditions as an element in the construction of a history of Peruvian music.

Most actors in this work, whether composers, performers or music researchers, that have attempted to dedicate their efforts towards the implementation of technology beyond the logic of the recording studio and tech-support, have had to negotiate their participation in musical academic and popular cultures according to the way they were perceived by the political and cultural surroundings of their time. This situation would force many of them to construct the cultural identities that could allow them to participate in national institutionalized discourses and practices, moving away from technology or maintaining it as a peripheral activity. In the majority of cases, those musicians interested in technology would either migrate in search of training and professional opportunities, or shift direction towards other musical practices.

By analyzing, in this work, the national discourses of/about our actors and the silence of the institutions (public and private) we reveal an agent-structure relational behavioral pattern toward musical technology and related sound arts that is at the heart of its historical undermining.

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