Tag Archives: Colloquium

A Visual Journey Through Afro-Latin Soundscapes

During the Fall 2013 semester, Professor Dylon Robbins taught the interdisciplinary seminar Afro-Latin Soundscapes. In the accompanying colloquium series, CLACS hosted a series of musicians and scholars that spoke of the way music crosses cultural boundaries.

Without mixers and soundboards the songs have taken on a organic sound that has helped shape hip-hop’s role as a legitimate expression of Cuban culture. Hailing from the industrial suburbs of Havana, the husband and wife team Alexey and Magia formed Obsesión in 1996. Alexey has become a nexus for various forms of artistic expression, promoting the convergence of painting, sculpture, dance, and poetry within the hip-hop scene. Magia is known as an eloquent advocate of women’s rights.

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Afro-Latin Soundscapes: Cyro Baptista

On Monday, December 9th, CLACS hosted its last lecture of the Fall 2013 research colloquium series, “Afro-Latin Soundscapes.” The lively performance and subsequent talk was led by Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista, an award-winning recording artist who has worked with various musicians within different genres, including Yo-Yo Ma, John Zorn, and Carlos Santana – just to name a few.

Guzman-US-Baptista

Cyro Baptista

After an introduction by Professor Dylon Robbins, Batista began his talk mentioning the Brazilian avant-garde predisposition for cannibalistic consumption of the West. Baptista’s remarks were a perfect precursor for the rest of the dazzling, performative lecture, where he expressed that Antropofagia is, in fact, what his music is about. He emphasized that in some ways, his musical stylings are about “the colonial impulse of wanting everything that does not belong to him.” Referring back to his first experience in U.S. musical education in Woodstock, NY, he proudly explained that through his music, he continually “eats Celine Dion, George Bush and John F. Kennedy.” The conversation surrounding his musical practice continued in a jovial, humorous way, despite the fact that Antropofagia primarily deals with the seriousness of confronting and re-interpreting Western cultural imperialism.

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