Rooting the Avant-garde in Traditional Stocks: Musical Dialogues in Uncertain Times
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought urban music scenes to a halt. With concert venues closed, tours interrupted and festivals at a standstill, many artists have taken advantage of this hiatus to develop more personal and creative projects. Among recent musical experimentations that are becoming trendsetting are those that draw on the so-called folk and traditional musics and infuse them with contemporary sounds. The resulting sonorities mix muñeiras with trance rhythms, fado with electronic music or flamenco and hip-hop, appealing to a broad audience in search of a new sense of identity and belonging in times of uncertainty.
Gathering the projects that participated in MIL artistic residencies, the aim of this round table is to explore the limits and possibilities of such dialogues and musical collaborations that disrupt the boundaries between the tradition and the contemporary. Some of the questions that will trigger the conversation are: What/Whose roots? Which (musical) routes (to explore)? How do we (re)define “tradition” in a hyper-accelerated and hyper-connected time? Who owns the tradition? How is this ownership challenged and negotiated musically? What are the political implications of this reinterpretation of popular and traditional music(s) in times marked by conservatism and uncertainty? Is there an emancipatory potentiality in these musical collaborations?