The creative negotiation of a trans-national recorded sound: Grupo Lokito as a Congolese-Latin collaboration case study

Bourbon, Andrew and McGuinness, Sara ORCID: (2015) The creative negotiation of a trans-national recorded sound: Grupo Lokito as a Congolese-Latin collaboration case study. In: Art of Record Production Conference, 6-8 Nov 2015, Philadelphia, USA. (Unpublished)

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Grupo Lokito is a collaboration between Congolese and Latin musicians, which grew out of my experience as a Latin musician entering the world of Congolese music. The musicians found that, when placed in a cross-cultural setting we had to negotiate ways of working. These included reflecting on how we communicated about music, methods of rehearsing and performance practice.

Whilst, in my experience, Latin bands have a variety of ways of recording, Congolese have a formula for working in the studio, overdubbing instruments one at a time over a pre-sequenced track. I have observed this to be the model used in studios both in Kinshasa and throughout the Congolese Diaspora. Grupo Lokito has until now self-produced all recordings, working to the Congolese model of record production. We are now extending the process of cross collaboration into the studio, adding another dimension, namely a producer from outside the two traditions. This paper will explore how working with a producer enabled us to observe how our methods of communication about and creation of music translated from performance to studio and how roles within the studio were negotiated.

In addition to the details of the production process there is also the target sound: there is a chasm between the contemporary production values in Congolese music produced for the home-Congolese and wider African-audience and the nostalgic and somewhat stereotypical sound favoured by the ‘world music’ audience. This brings up issues of authenticity, tradition and ownership of the music. In addition, Congolese and Cuban musicians are usually limited by the availability of instruments and tone manipulation tools. Another aspect will be exploring the influence and impact of a broader palette of sound on the recording and creation process.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Performing arts
Depositing User: Sara McGuinness
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2016 15:10
Last Modified: 19 May 2023 15:45


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