Written dissertation, thesis, lectures and papers
In 2007 I moved to the Netherlands to start a Master of Music at Codarts University of the Arts, in Rotterdam. By then, I was not aware of the existance of such a thing as 'artistic research', which came across my life as part of the Master trajectory. I immediately fell in love with it because it enabled the concentration of all my interests in a single project: writing music and text, performing tango, playing the piano, and doing research. Since then I have been involved in different activities around it, even becoming myself a coach of students who – like me – start a Master and are asked to conduct this kind of research.
First came my Master thesis entitled Musical Arrangements in Tango: an encounter with their creators (2009). It was based on interviews done in Europe and Argentina to famous tango composers and arrangers, namely Leopoldo Federico, Gustavo Beytelmann, Ramiro Gallo, Atilio Stampone, Nicolás Ledesma, Nicolás Lavallén, Andrés Linetzky, Javier Martínez Lo Ré, Néstor Marconi, Mauricio Marcelli, Pablo Mainetti, and Raúl Garello. The final result, apart from my own musical production, was presented on a book and a documentary movie in two DVD's.
Second (and as a logical consequence of that first research) came my written dissertation entitled Creating and Re-creating Tangos: Artistic Processes and Innovations in Music by Pugliese, Salgán, Piazzolla and Beytelmann (2014). This was conducted as a PhD trajectory at Leiden University, Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, the Netherlands; docArtes programme, Orpheus Institute, Belgium. In this dissertation, I dig into the constituent elements of River Plate tango in order to decode how specific musical materials were organized and combined by the four outstanding musicians mentioned in the title. The articulation of this (partly) embodied knowledge has resulted in an original contribution to the field, providing new insights with which both I and the greater artistic community can enrich our skills in arranging, composing and performing tango music.
An important part of my activities as a researcher also include the frequent participation at international congresses and conferencies, the writing of articles and diverse kind of talks and seminars on my fields of specialization.
Publication of the book The Art of Tango
The Art of Tango offers a systematic exploration of the performance, arrangement and composition of the universally popular tango. The author discusses traditional practices, the De Caro school and the pioneering oeuvre of four celebrated innovators: Pugliese, Salgán, Piazzolla and Beytelmann.
With an in-depth focus on both reception and practice, the volume and its companion website featuring supplementary audio-visual materials analyse, decode, compare and discuss literature, scores and recordings to provide a deeper understanding of tango’s artistic concepts, characteristics and techniques. River Plate tango is explored through the lens of artistic research, combining the study of oral traditions and written sources. In addition to a detailed examination of the various approaches to tango by the musicians featured in this book, three compositions by the author embodying creative applications of the research findings are discussed. The volume offers numerous tools for developing skills in practice, inspiring new musical output and the continuation of research endeavours in the field.
Illustrating the many possibilities of this musical language that has captivated musicians and audiences worldwide, this book is a valuable resource for everyone with an interest in tango, whether they be composers, performers, arrangers, teachers, music lovers or scholars in the field of popular music studies.