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The University of Southampton

Dancing in the Fields: Virtual locality in indigenous Andean music videos Seminar

Henry Stobart
4 March 2014
Room 1083 Building 2 Highfield Campus SO17 1BJ

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Hettie Malcomson on 023 8059 4400 or email .

Event details

Part of the Music Research Seminar series

The move from analogue audio cassette to VCD (Video Compact Disc) in around 2003, as the main support for recorded music, marked a remarkable shift for music production and consumption in the Bolivian Andes. This cheap digital technology both opened up new markets among low-income indigenous people, and enabled music entrepreneurs from such groups to create their own music video productions. It quickly became almost unthinkable to produce a music recording without video images - a radical shift in music's ontology. This presentation explores the character of these images, reflecting on continuities and contrasts with the well-established conventions of music video elsewhere. In particular, it focuses on the tendency for the video images to depict musicians performing in rural landscapes, even though the music itself is recorded in a studio. Why is landscape so ubiquitous in such music videos and how might it relate to the musical genres in question? To answer these questions, this paper draws on a year of participatory research based in the city of Sucre, Bolivia, working with the indigenous music entrepreneur and well known regional artist Gregorio Mamani, and extensive previous research among indigenous musicians in the Bolivian Andes.

Reception to follow in the Arlott Bar.

Speaker information

Henry Stobart, Royal Holloway, University of London. Head of Department

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