We welcome Dr. Morgan Luker, presenting: “Contemporary Tango and the Cultural Politics of Música Popular.”
Abstract: Astillero is a contemporary tango ensemble based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, whose work is focused on rearticulating tango’s relationship to a specifically Latin American notion of “the popular.” This project is framed by the contested musical and social histories of tango as a popular genre in Argentina, as well as the larger challenges posed by the 2001 Argentine economic crisis and its aftermath. Within this context, I will discuss how Astillero’s project of remaking tango a música popular must be understood as both a musical style and a social movement, an aesthetic ideology and an embodied social practice. This—like “the popular” as such—can help us question the managerial impulse to productivity that is increasingly determining cultural life in Buenos Aires and beyond, while also helping us to better understand the changing role of music and the arts within the global context of crisis.
Bio: Morgan Luker received the PhD in ethnomusicology from Columbia University, and is currently serving as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Carleton College. His studies focus on music and cultural policy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a special interest in the cultural politics of contemporary tango.
Ethnoise! The Ethnomusicology Workshop
Thursday, February 18, 2010