Projecting Ecuadorian Cultures in Andean Dream: a Compositional Exploration of Psycho-Ethnomusicology for Electronics and Chamber Ensemble
Type of Resources
The musical culture of Ecuador, despite being quite unknown to the world and to a great part of the Ecuadorian people, holds an unimaginable richness and diversity rooted in thousands of years of musical traditions. Mestizaje, the process of racial mixture that followed the European conquest, has encouraged homogeneity and uniformity. I am a part of this mestizo culture, that, in reality, does not hold the same worldviews as the diverse Indigenous Ecuadorian communities. The Kichwa community of Cotacachi, presented through musical materials in this thesis, experiences an undeniable connection between the rituals relevant to agricultural life, dance and music that need to be conveyed and sustained in this twenty-first century. The use of psycho-ethnomusicology refers to the two elements that have been determinant to the thesis: Jungian archetypes and ethnomusicology fieldwork. Within this thesis, archetypes are understood as complex symbols that appear in stories from cultures around the world, embodying something universal in the human experience. I chose the approach of applied ethnomusicology through transferring Ecuadorian musical materials I collected from fieldwork into the composition. Andean musical cultures are represented in specific archetypes relevant to the Andean cosmology and reflecting a personal search for connecting with my roots as an Ecuadorian. The composition is divided into three parts inspired by the archetypal symbols of fire, water and mountain. In Andean Dream, preceding the Andean music collected through ethnomusicology fieldwork, I experimented with the sounds and resonant frequencies of pre-Columbian Ecuadorian instruments and sounding artifacts. European string instruments that were adopted during colonial times into the Ecuadorian musical tradition are portrayed either through Andean folkloric tunes or composed material that echoes these sonorities. By evoking my Ecuadorian identity in my music, I hope to offer ideas for other contemporary composers on ways in which they may portray diverse cultural elements through music composition. This exploration of possibilities within the music of Ecuador, combining electronic tape composition with live performance, will promote this understanding through the work and allow for musical composition to become a platform of correspondence between Ecuadorian mestizo and Indigenous music.
 There is a separation between instruments, that were built specifically to play music, and sounding artifacts which were capable of “musical sounds” within their quotidian functionality.
 To access the music, go to: https://soundcloud.com/danielapaez/sets/andean-dream