Fabricación, Aserradero and Fundición: Reactivating the compositions of Carmen Barradas (1888-1963) @ the Gender and Musicianship conference at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki

Excited to share this concert-lecture of Carmen Barradas’ compositions for piano Fabricación (1922), Fundición (1921), and Aserradero (1922) interpreted by Patricia Mendoza with analysis by Adriana Santos Melgarejo. We will be presenting this concert lecture as part of the Gender and Musicianship conference at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki on January 25th, 2022

In this short-lecture concert, we explore the compositions of Uruguayan pianist Carmen Barradas (1888-1963) to bring visibility to her contributions to avant-garde and experimental music. Employing research-creation methodologies and bringing together our expertise as media historians, musicologists, and interpreters we discuss the historical context and the gendered structures that led to the invisibilization of her work. Specifically, we use reactivation, understood by Mexican feminist artist Mónica Mayer and art historian Karen Cordero, as a feminist approach to re-engage with archives that have been ignored in the dominant histories of art through intergenerational gatherings, curatorial projects, and exhibitions (2005, 2020).

In this case, we build from Mayer and Cordero’s approach and combine archival research with musical analysis and interpretation to reactivate a selection of Carmen Barrada’s compositions for piano. Our process of reactivation begins with a brief overview of Barrada’s cultural milieu to locate her as a meaningful exponent of the avant-gardes (Aceves Sepulveda) followed by an interpretation of a selection of compositions for piano (Mendoza Lluberas) accompanied with musical analysis (Santos Melgarejo) to introduce Barrada’s techniques to contemporary audiences.