CharangaSue.com

Sue Miller – Cuban Flute Improviser, Writer & Academic

Content tagged with: research

Review in Ethnomusicology Forum Journal

Sue Miller’s monograph on Cuban flute style will be of interest to ethnomusicologists and flautists alike. It is a clearly written, highly musical book that serves as both a guide to performance practice and an academic text. Miller brings together performance as a research technique, interviews with musicians, lessons with renowned flautists, and detailed and extensive transcription and analysis of recordings to create a ‘musical archaeology’ (246) of creative processes, interpretation and improvisation in Cuban charanga flute performance.

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 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.

Invited Talks on Cuban Music in London and Cambridge this November

I’m giving talks on Cuban music in London (2nd) and Cambridge (27th) this November – both are free and open to the public. The first on clave and improvisation is for LAMS (Latin American Music Seminars) at Senate House, London and the second is on the role of influence in the development of the Cuban flute style is at the University of Cambridge music department, West Road.

Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World

I have two entries on Cuban son and guajira in this excellent new book edited by David Horn. You can order a copy from Amazon and it will be out January 2014

International Conference on Analysing Popular Music

I’m presenting a paper on clave feel in Latin improvisation at this conference.The conference will take place 2-4 July, 2013 and will include three distinguished keynote speakers:

Anne Danielsen (University of Oslo)
Walter Everett (University of Michigan)
Allan Moore (University of Surrey).

IASPM in Spain

I’m attending IASPM next week – looking forward to speaking Spanish again!