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Sue Miller – Cuban Flute Improviser, Writer & Academic

Latin Improvisation Aesthetics in New York: SEM Panel Presentation

Sue’s panel at the Society for Ethnomusicology’s annual conference in Texas Austin takes place on 3 December at 4pm. Also on the panel are renowned scholars of Latin American music Professor David Garcia (University of North Carolina) and Dr Ben Lapidus (CUNY).
Panel Abstract: ‘Clave feel’ is often cited as one of the main elements of Afro-Cuban/salsa improvisation yet very little to date has been done to demonstrate this concept analytically. Building on research in this area by Christopher Washburne, Peter Manuel, David Garcia, Robin Moore, Lise Waxer, and Robert Farris Thompson, scholars of Latin improvisation consider how clave remains a point of tradition, pride, and practice for many performers of Afrocuban music in New York City. Brass, woodwind and piano clave-based improvisation styles are examined to demonstrate how clave feel can define both the artistry and identity of performers. Ethnographic research informs the musical analyses of solo improvisations from both recordings and live performances to demonstrate how clave sensibility permeates the artistic work of New York-based Latin soloists.

Music Symposium in Helsinki, 20-21 November, 2015

Sue will be presenting a paper ‘Getting into Bed with the Cultural Theorists’ at the NIMiMS conference to demonstrate how the detailed analysis of sound connects directly to cultural aspects of the music and to advocate closer working partnerships with scholars in musicology and cultural studies.The aim of the symposium is to bridge gaps and create positive dialogue between different approaches within music studies. The symposium is focused on two questions.
[1] How can music analysis and cultural studies benefit from each other?
[2] How can music theory and musical practice benefit from each other?
Organizing parties: NIMiMS, Musicology at the Helsinki University Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies, Helsinki Pop & Jazz Conservatory, and the Finnish Music Archive JAPA.

New lecturing post at Leeds Beckett University

Moving back up north I am now senior lecturer in music at Leeds Beckett University. Based in the School of Film, Music and Performing Arts I now lecture on the BA (Hons) in Production and Performance and on the music MA courses there. Supervision areas include Cuban music, improvisation, popular music analysis and ethnomusicology.

New Charanga del Norte Recording ‘Atilana’

New Charanga del Norte recording with prize winning design by Rianne van Male, a graphic design student from Anglia Ruskin University.

New Publication for 2015: Chapter on Improvisation in Higher Education

“This book treats with freshness and vitality issues that are crucial for educators in higher education and beyond. The international and multi-disciplinary group of scholars – anthropologists, psychologists, musicians, artists and art educators – engage us in deeply educational issues and experiences…Enthusiastically recommended!” – Liora Bresler, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, University of Illinois, USA

New Review of Cuban Flute Style by John Robert Brown in Jazz Journal

Cuban Flute Style is thus a contextualised, analytical study, arising from a combination of Miller’s lessons from Egües, her research in Havana and New York, her subsequent experiences as a charanga bandleader, and the completion of a Leeds University PhD undertaken to study the processes involved in learning the charanga style of improvisation.

BfE and AAWM Conference in London on 1-4 July

My paper is on 2 July:

Title: Analyzing Clave feel within melodic-rhythmic ‘mambo’ improvisation

Abstract:

‘Clave feel’ is often cited as one of the main elements of Cuban and salsa improvisation yet very little to date has been done to demonstrate this concept analytically whether using notation- or purely text-based analysis. The mambo-style solos of flautist José Fajardo are analysed here in order to demonstrate this clave concept using annotated transcriptions of recorded solos to demonstrate the relationship between the two-bar timeline of clave and melodic-rhythmic improvisation characteristic of Cuban and Latin popular styles.

Review of Cuban Flute Style by Bill McBirnie

Let me begin by saying that Sue Miller’s Cuban Flute Style is an extraordinarily comprehensive oeuvre, with respect to both the history and the technique of charanga flute playing. In addition, her book is realized with a broad as well as a thoughtful understanding of the entire tradition on which this style of music is based.

BOOK LAUNCH 10 May LONDON SENATE HOUSE

book launch for Cuban Flute Style@
LATIN AMERICAN MUSIC SEMINAR
Saturday 10th May 2014

Room G22-26 (Ground Floor)
Senate House, Malet Street
London WC1E 2HU

A morning of presentations finishing with:

3.00pm Sue Miller (Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge), BOOK LAUNCH: Cuban Flute Style: Interpretation and Improvisation (Scarecrow Press 2013).

3.45pm Tea followed by live music performed by Charanga del Norte (Cuban charanga music which forms the focus of Sue Miller’s book).

OUT NOW Cuban Flute Style: Interpretation and Improvisation

My book Cuban Flute Style: Interpretation and Improvisation is now available from all good book stores!