On Music Archives

Jul 2015  

On Music Archives: Between Preservation and Appropriation

Listening session and discussion with Oswaldo Lares, Gilles Aubry, Peter Cusack and Christopher Kline, presented by Laura Jordan and Guillermo Lares

Saturday, July 18, 2015 / 17:00 – 20:00h

Errant Bodies
Kollwitzstrasse 97
10435 Berlin

In parallel to the current exhibition Inside the Archive of Oswaldo Lares (1969-89) at Kinderhook & Caracas, this event will focus on material and political aspects of music documentation and preservation practices. After an introduction by Oswaldo Lares about his own collection of traditional Venezuelan music, Gilles Aubry will present elements from the “Paul Bowles Collection of traditional Moroccan Music” (1959). By evoking concrete aspects of these recording initiatives, such as technical, performative, social and archival ones, the participants will discuss the possibilities and limitation of such approaches for preservation purposes, as well as perspectives for creative and critical reappropriations of historical music collections today.

Oswaldo Lares (b. 1932, Maracaibo, Venezuela) began making weekly excursions from Caracas along rural roads spanning from Caribbean villages to the plains to the Amazon rainforest, intent on meeting those people who continued to embody Venezuela’s musical heritage. Inspired by the diverse indigenous, African and European influences he found in each town, Lares began to document the musicians, dances and festivals in order to introduce them to a wider audience. In 1971 he acquired a portable Nagra reel-to-reel recorder with which he built an expansive audio archive over the next two decades.

Gilles Aubry is a Swiss sound artist based in Berlin. Informed by researches on cultural, material and historical aspects of sound productions, he uses field recordings, audio archives and interviews to create live performances and sound installations. www.earpolitics.net

Peter Cusack is a sound artist and (improvising) musician, and is also active as a field recording artist and a teacher. The focus of his current work – which he presents in appearances and performances, radio and CD productions, lectures, exhibitions and installations – is our man-made sound environment; the works’ categorical context is shaped by the conceptual approach of acoustic ecology. www.petercusack.org

Christopher Kline is a Berlin based artist, he is co-director/founder of the project space Kinderhook & Caracas. www.christopher-kline.com