Intangible Archeologies

We cordially invite you to the first activation of Cosmoaudiciones at SAVVY Contemporary. The project by Miguel Buenrostro traces the relationship between the Berlin Phonogramm Archiv and the musical worlds that traveled in and out of the Atlantic, into the Americas. More on the project below.

For this activation, we welcome the Orquesta Experimental de Instrumentos Nativos, a non-profit institution with 40 years of comprehensive cultural programming. One of its fields of action is the research and interpretation of indigenous music of the Aymara and Quechua traditions of Bolivia. With this technical and philosophical knowledge, the group focuses on the creation of contemporary music. The ECOEIN (Ensemble de Cámara de la Orquesta Experimental de Instrumentos Nativos) is a selected group of seven musicians dedicated to musical interpretation, teaching and composition. Their philosophy is framed by the principles of the OEIN. It was founded in 2003 and since then, it has formed its own repertoire of works specially composed for its technical and aesthetic development, by Bolivian and foreign composers.

ECOIN has presented concerts of contemporary and indigenous music, as well as mixed concerts and workshops for the teaching of indigenous Bolivian instruments in Uruguay, Argentina, Mexico, Germany, France and Switzerland.

For intangible archeologies they have put together a repertoire that speaks directly to the listening materials found in the archive of the Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin. The archive is perceived as an archeological site containing rhythms, harmonies and memories of Quechua and Aymara cosmogonies. The presentation goes along with a conversation around sonic extraction and restitution beyond material heritage.

ECOIN are: Tatiana López, Andrea Alvarez, María Riqueza, Ariel Laura, Alvaro Cabrera, Romina Quisbert.

About the project COSMOAUDICIONES

An artistic project by Miguel Buenrostro with the participation by Laura Robles, Trigo Santana, Fabiano Luna, Robby Geerken,Tom Kessler, Ensemble de Cámara de la Orquesta Experimental de Instrumentos Nativos, Eli Wewentxu, Huguette Tolinga and further contributions by Vanessa Engelmann, Julio Garcia, Brandon Labelle.

Cosmoaudiciones traces the relationship between the Berlin Phonogramm Archiv and the musical worlds that traveled in and out of the Atlantic, into the Americas. This investigation departs from what linguist Carlos Lenkersdorf calls Cosmoaudición. If our worldview (Cosmovision) is the way we perceive and interpret the world through a vision, then our Cosmoaudición would be the way we perceive and interpret the world through the act of listening (followed by a Cosmovivencia). Cosmoaudición therefore, implies a way of experiencing the world from an attitude of openness, it is also the beginning of entering in relation with beings and sonic entities through shared horizons. This investigation is motivated by listening to broader worlds of meaning, which have been preserved static and enclosed in sound archives within ethnographic collections. The Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv was established in 1900 by psychologist Carl Stumpf in order to collect and preserve the phonographic recordings of non-European musics. The recordings served as the primary research materials for what we understand today as comparative musicology or ethnomusicology, the main premise of this discipline was to “collect as many examples of traditional music as possible, in order to create and follow theories about the origin and evolution of music.” The archive was part of a German colonial apparatus in which travelers, ethnologists or colonial officers brought recordings of music and voices to the Berlin Ethnological Museum.

Between 1893 and 1954, a large number of recordings were generated in German colonies. These sonic documents have contributed to a preservation of colonial structures of power and knowledge. In our engagement with the archive, we have acknowledged the violence, power structures, the politics of archiving and the supremacy that is implicated in ethnographic collections. In parallel we have listened to journeys, exchanges and trajectories of music by situating our practice within a listening ethic. This awareness has opened up a portal that has allowed us to enter in relation with music temporalities that precede notions of linear time. The selected materials we focused on are digitized tapes of oral history and musicas populares that speak of resistance and re-existence through rhythmic memory and journeys across seas. In our collective listening sessions, we shared knowledge through conversations and musical improvisation with musicians of the diasporas living in Berlin: Together we have co-listened to recordings and responded to them with musical improvisation. This has opened a space for thinking about possibilities of restitution beyond the return of material heritage. The outcome of our work has come to voice through a series of compositions, gatherings, actions in public space that propose a mode of Listening-Sensing-Receiving music, re-embodying rhythm and memory. Musicians will improvise, compose and expand the archive beyond the institution into the public realm. Cosmoaudiciones invites the listeners to reflect on the following questions:

How can we restore time from the extracted worlds of meaning?
How can we "sound" the archive with dignity?
How can we re-socialize that which remains in absence from the archive?
How can listening practices move us towards re-futuring musical world?