A sonic journey into a night of tango

Here I present a sound story describing the journey of a women from her home in New Jersey to a tango event in New York City. The soundscape of the process reveals intimate aspects of the character, not only in her actions but also on her thoughts and reflections regarding the dance and cultural perspectives of tango.

The sound piece represents my first attempt, and experimental approach, in documenting the life of female dancers from the tango community of New Jersey and New York. It seeks to investigate the diversity of sounds (other than tango music itself) produced prior and during the milonga from the perspective of the follower.

The arc of the story can be divided into four parts:

1_ Preparation

Sounds that describe those actions needed to get ready to go out into a nigh of tango. In this particular case, sounds describing the brushing of teeth and showering can be clearly recognized.

2_ Commute

Sounds that describe the commute of the character to arrive to the milonga

3_ Climax

Sounds that signals the arrival of the character to the milonga

4_ Unfolding action / resolution

Sounds that describe the process of the character leaving the milonga and her way back home

The story highlights the sonic journey of Jusleine Daniel, who happens to be my wife and gladly accepted to participate in this experiment. The soundscape summarizes her journey to Robin Thomas Nocture milonga, on a Saturday night during the month of September. Spoken words describing her thoughts were recorded during the car commute to the city and included in the sound piece.

The overall idea was to register key sonic moments that would encourage the listener to imagine her/his own journey into a night of tango. The mood of the sound piece is thoughtful and reflective, whereas the character of the piece can be considered documentary. The work merged ambient noise with music and spoken words; and could encourage new ways of understanding of tango culture from a novel point of view.

Next steps:

It would be interesting to extend this work and create sonic journeys to tango from other female dancers in order to sample the diversity of sounds and thoughts of what does it means to go out into a night of tango.

Keywords: sonic journeys; sound art; sound stories; tango; New York Tango; Argentine tango; Martin Calvino; milonga

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