Tag Archives: Buenos Aires

Argentina Thursdays: From Jujuy to Buenos Aires

This week I present two mash ups. One is “Horn Track,” and it samples my friend Pablo Martinez’s horn line. His music is directly influenced by his home region of Jujuy, where he grew up before coming to Buenos Aires for college (See “Things a Peña Does” below for more info). This was one of my first Argentine folk music mash ups. I threw some drums, piano, and some distorted electric guitar on the horns to fill out the beat.

Horn Track

The second mash up is entitled “Porteña de mi Corazón,” and is a remix of a king of Argentine Tango Astor Pizzola’s track Libertango. Here I threw some drums, bass and a little sax and vocal breakdown in the middle. This track is for my man Nassim, who told me he felt it way back in 2010 in our apartment in Buenos Aires.

Porteña de mi Corazón.

These two tracks are remixes of two versions of the many identifications of Argentine music.

Reflection and Response


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Argentina Thursdays: Things a Peña Does


So for this week’s Argentina Thursday post I would like to present two pieces. One of which is my senior thesis from the University of Wahsington, “Things a Peña Does: Everyday Forms of Nationalism.” This piece was recently published in the Jackson School Journal of International Studies, a peer reviewed journal produced by the Jackson School of International Studies at UW.  The paper was the culmination of my study abroad in Buenos Aires during the 2009-2010 academic year. The paper was one of the most difficult and exhilirating experiences of my life so far and I am indebted to the dozens of people who made this project work.

Here is the abstract with a link to the full piece:

For its entire history Argentina has been dominated demographically and economically by Buenos Aires. Poverty and relative inequalities in the hinterland have helped drive a massive internal migration to the city. A great portion of the resulting population of Buenos Aires consists of provincial Argentines who find interesting and innovative ways to negotiate urban life. This essay explores some ways that Argentine migrants use folk music parties, known as peñas, to create opportunities in the city. Importantly, many migrant accounts highlight the importance of folk music as Argentine, thus unifying folk music with other cultural representations of the nation. First person accounts show how migrants use this “entrepreneurial popular nationalism” in peñas to create their own entertainment, social networking and economic benefits. The paper presents a case for the peña, an innovative birthplace of nationalism, as a resource for a largely marginalized group.

Full Article

I would also like to present my track “Ave De Chrystal.” Made famous by the Bolivian group Los Kjarkas, my version is a remix from a recording session I did with lawyer and migrant activist Pablo Martinez. I sample Pablo’s cover version. He can be heard singing and playing the acoustic guitar. I chopped  Pablo and a group of activists are working on a social project called the Caminata de las Quenas, which celebrates the anniversary of the Jujuy Exodus in Argentina. His project is a wonderful example of how music can be used to educate and celebrate culture. A true example of Reflection and Response. If anyone has any questions about the Caminata feel free to contact Pablo at caminatadelasquenas@hotmail.com.

Ave de Chrystal

No se acaba el mundo

cuando un amor se va

no se acaba el mundo

y no se derrumbara.

Si fue verdadero

tras sus huellas volvera

si no fue sincero

otro lo remplazara.

The world doesn’t end

When a love leaves

The world doesn’t end

and it won’t collapse

If she was true

through her footprints she’ll return

It she wasn’t true

Another will replace her

Reflection and Response


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Welcome to Argentina Thursdays/Pista 21

Welcome to the first installment of Argentina Thursdays!! For the next several Thursdays I will be showcasing tracks I did while in Buenos Aires, Argentina during a study abroad in 2009-2010. Many of the tracks are collaborative efforts with local artists and the period was a truly enjoyable time of personal growth and cultural exchange.

I am proud to present the first track of Argentina Thursdays, Pista 21

Como un tizón encendido

ardiendo dentro mi sangre

tu sombra viene conmigo

y no la puedo arrancar.

As if it were a charred coal

burning inside of my blood

your shadow comes with me

and I cannot get it out

Pista 21 is named for the file of the song in my itunes I used to sample. The real name of the original track is “Zamba de un Amor en Vuelo,” or “Song of a Love in Flight,” a folk tune written and performed by Tamara Castro.

Tamara’s track is an awesome example of Zamba, a popular folk music in Argentina.

My version includes a guitar sample from the original, piano from my talented friend Leopoldo Obrégon, and vocals by my girlfriend at the time.

Has anyone else found that music or art or something else has enabled him or her access to cultural exchange? Music is one of my primary languages of reflection and response, what are some of yours?

Reflection and Response


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