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Sue Miller – Cuban Flute Improviser, Writer & Academic

British Academy Turning Points: Are older music technologies better at capturing ‘liveness’ in recordings? by Dr Sue Miller

Have contemporary technological changes in recording and the search for perfection been to the detriment of musical skills? Do today’s digital approaches create recordings that are too mechanical and lacking in the human touch? While older unedited recordings maintain their ‘liveness’ in the case of many Latin recordings of the mid-20th century, is it possible to go back to those days, now that digital layering and editing are part of the creative process? What is lost by removing the ‘imperfections’ of live performance in the mix?

New Charanga del Norte Album ‘Pachanga Time’

Charanga del Norte release their new album Pachanga Time  on Spotify  here  https://open.spotify.com/album/2sMgBBxS7AX59njbvFC3Ot  and later in the year on Vinyl – the new tracks are also available online  here: https://fuga.ffm.to/pachangatime  

The Charanga del Norte Cocktail

The Charanga del Norte cocktail
18:30-19:30, The digital dinner party Friday 19 June 2020

Join food historian and artist Tasha Marks for a unique taste of the British Academy Summer Showcase. Inspired by the work of three British Academy researchers, this cook-along and conversation is sure to be food for thought. The pairings start with a cocktail, influenced by Sue Miller’s work on Latin music. Do have fun making your own cocktail after Tasha’s demonstration and check out our new album ‘Pachanga Time’ to dance with too (released the same day) – shimmy around your back garden or living room to our music to literally raise your spirits – now you can listen and drink us at the same time!

British Academy Summer Showcase Feature 19-20 June 2020

“Latin music in the USA was booming in the 1950s and 1960s, with New York recording studios humming with the sounds of Cuban flute, tenor voices, charanga violins, congas, timbales, güiro, bass and piano. Over time the move from traditional recording techniques to new technologies changed the way this music was performed. Join musicologist Sue […]

The Musicians’ Perspectives

In this post musicians from Charanga del Norte reflect on their recording experiences on this British Academy funded project which involved studio recordings with some live takes (for the rhythm section and then the string section) and then the live takes at All Hallows Church, Hyde Park, Leeds at the end of 2019. In these reflections, musicians talk about the pros and cons of live take recording and about capturing that all important element of spontaneity and sabor essential to Cuban/Latin dance music performance.

Charanga del Norte LIVE Recording ‘Bronx Pachanga’

This is the first of several live music documentaries of Sue Miller and her Charanga del Norte made by Tim Blackwell and recorded on ribbon microphones by Paul Thompson and Barkley McKay. This forms part of a research project funded by the British Academy. Here is a live take of Sue’s arrangement of ‘Bronx Pachanga’ with a cheeky little Watusi middle.

The Cuban Flute Sound – documentary film

This documentary forms part of a British Academy funded research project and is a shorter version of the ‘Capturing Liveness’ video available on the main British Academy page.  

Charanga del Norte Live Recording

Sue Miller and her Charanga del Norte are recording a new live album using ribbon microphones. Here’s a photo of our October recording session – recorded by Dr Paul Thompson and Barkley McKay from the department of Music and Sound at Leeds Beckett University and filmed by Tim Blackwell, course leader for Broadcast Media at […]

British Academy Recording Project

The sounds of New York to be re-created in Leeds Beckett music studios
A new research project – bringing to life the practice and history of mid-20th century New York-based Latin music – has launched at Leeds Beckett.
Dr Sue Miller and Dr Paul Thompson, Readers in Music in the School of Film, Music & Performing Arts, are investigating the original recording studio techniques and performance aesthetics of this traditional style of dance music.

New Charanga Time Animation

New Charanga Time animation from El Iyawo Studios in Leeds – celebrating 20 years of Charanga del Norte – anniversary events are planned from November 24, 2018 to November 2019.