Jordi Roquer receives grant from the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation

Lecturer of the UAB Department of Art and Musicology Jordi Roquer

The lecturer from the Department of Art and Musicology received a $5,000 grant for the digitalisation of a series of highly valuable musical pieces, located on a piano roll stored at the Historical Archive of Ecuador in Quito.


The aim is to digitalise some 500 works by authors such as Carlos Ortiz, Ramón Moya and Fray Agustín de Azkúnaga, and of traditional Ecuadorian genres of music such as the Pasillo, Sanjuanito and Yarabi. It is worth highlighting the interest in the first dance rhythms arriving from the United States, such as the ragtime or foxtrot, as in other countries, reached Ecuador in piano rolls.
“Once the musical material is digitalised, it will be able to deduce interesting consumer patterns, the degree of reception and even aesthetic exchanges between the countries. Some examples of interest are the possibility of posing new hypotheses about the first jazz pieces reaching South America or the use of popular musics as a tool in building a national identity”, Jordi Roquer points out.

The project will last one year and will be conducted at the UAB, where researchers from the Department of Musicology will a device for the digitalisation of piano rolls which was created in collaboration with the Computer Vision Centre. To conduct the project, Roquer will receive the help of Ecuadorian musicologist Diego Rodríguez, who last year enrolled in a master's degree in musicology at the UAB. Rodríguez will bring the rolls from Quito to Barcelona and work on them with the research team under the supervision of lecturer Roquer.

With this grant the foundation acknowledges “the excellence of projects which preserve the musical genres of Latin America, such as in this case, which was selected after an attentive and exhaustive evaluation of all candidates”.
Grant to register Mompou and Blancafort in London

Jordi Roquer recently received another grant of $2,300 from the Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) in the US to record the works Frederic Mompou and Manuel Blancafort composed together on piano roll which had remained unpublished until the researcher discovered them in 2015.

“We often forget that piano rolls were a popular and one of the first technologies used to record music”, association members state when talking about the grant. “Jordi Roquer's project will include a piano specialist and a recording engineer, and will soon make the recordings available on the internet”, they conclude.


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