CharangaSue.com

Sue Miller – Cuban Flute Improviser, Writer & Academic

Content tagged with: research

Sue Miller Digital Portfolio

I am known as both an academic and as a professional flute improviser and musical director of ‘Charanga del Norte,’ a band I formed in 1998.

I am many things –  an academic, a writer, a professional musician, a linguist (French, Spanish, Hindi, Linguistics) and a teacher; I combine my professional work as a performer with my academic career.

Inaugural Professorial Lecture by Professor Sue Miller

Hiding in plain sight, Latin influence is everywhere in jazz and popular music forms today and often goes unacknowledged. In her Inaugural lecture Professor Sue Miller demonstrates how these Latin styles evolved historically and shows, through musical examples, how many aspects of these performance practices are embedded in a variety of vernacular dance music forms past and present.

New Charanga del Norte Animation ‘Atilana’

Animation by Ged Haney of Charanga del Norte’s track ‘Los Problemas de Atilana’ based on research by Prof. Sue Miller, Dr Sarah Bowen and Cuban dancer Guillermo Davis on the televised version of ‘Los Problemas de Atilana’ by Orquesta Aragón in 1965. The flute solo by Sue Miller is a development of the solo by flute player Richard Egües which was danced by Rafael Bacallao. The animated Rafael here reflects the dance moves and musical gestures of Egües and Bacallao with a few new references and dance moves included for good measure!

Journal Article on Richard Egues and Rafael Bacallao in Ethnomusicology Forum Journal

An article co-authored by Professor Sue Miller, Guillermo Davis and Dr Sarah Bowen is published in a special issue of the journal Ethnomusicology Forum (June 2022). In it the flute solo of Richard Egües together with the dancing of Rafael Bacallao in Orquesta Aragon are analysed and the article is open access available here online […]

A musico-choreographic analysis of a Cuban dance routine: a performance-informed approach

The research is based on the analysis of a live performance on Cuban television of ‘Los Problemas de Atilana’ by Orquesta Aragón in the early 1960s, where musical gestures are shown to be embodied in the flute and dance solo ‘duet’ performed by Cuban flautist Richard Egües and dancer Rafael Bacallao, revealing the shared memories of a community bound by common cultural experience. Interdisciplinary in nature, analysis is undertaken by a musician-scholar, a film scholar-practitioner and a professional Cuban dancer-animator in order to unearth details of this embodied repertoire, thus translating and making overt culturally implicit knowledge for those outside of the artistic community of practice, and, in some cases, within it.

A Musico-Choreographic Analysis of a Cuban Dance Routine – Animation Demonstrations

This practice research by Prof. Sue Miller, Guillermo Davis and Dr Sarah Bowen is based on the analysis of a live performance on Cuban television of ‘Los Problemas de Atilana’ by Orquesta Aragón in the early 1960s, where musical gestures are shown to be embodied in the flute and dance solo ‘duet’ performed by Cuban flautist Richard Egües and dancer Rafael Bacallao. Through re-performance and re-presentation in the form of a recording and short animations, the many meanings embodied in the original performance are examined through analytical text, musical notation, visuals, recordings and animation film. The article will be published soon in the British Forum for Ethnomusicology Journal and below are some of the animations made to go with this article. Animations are by Cuban dancer-animator Guillermo Davis and the music is recorded by Sue Miller (flute) and her band Charanga del Norte.

NEW BOOK – Improvising Sabor – Cuban Dance Music in New York

Improvising Sabor: Cuban Dance Music in New York begins in 1960s New York and examines in rich detail the playing styles and international influence of important figures in US Latin music. Such innovators as José Fajardo, Johnny Pacheco, George Castro, and Eddy Zervigón dazzled the Palladium ballroom and other Latin music venues in those crucible years. Author Sue Miller focuses on the Cuban flute style in light of its transformations in the US after the 1959 revolution and within the vibrant context of 1960s New York.

New book Improvising Sabor pre-order half price in the 2021 special offer

You can get my new book Improvising Sabor: Cuban Dance Music in New York for only $20.21 until December 15th 2020 if ordered online which is a bargain especially for the hardback version.

Extinct Audio supply ribbon microphones to Charanga del Norte, Laura Marling and Lianne la Havas

The firms Xaudia and Extinct Audio provided period specific microphones for our British Academy funded research project. See their site for more details. Other artists using their ribbon microphones include Laura Marling and Lianne la Havas. Seems Charanga del Norte have been ahead of the curve with their Pachanga Time album!

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?