urban space

TSP (Texas Soundmap Project)

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The central idea of this project (still in the works) is to map out Texas’ acoustic history and diversity.

Materials presented here come from three main sources:

1: Recordings from sound archives.

Cushing Memorial Library & Archives, Texas A&M University

Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Alan Lomax Collection, Association for Cultural Equity

East Texas History, Sam Houston State University


John, Ruby, and Alan Lomax recordings [1933-1948]

William A. Owens Recordings [1938-1942]

Oral Histories 

2: Recordings from personal collections.


Leonardo Cardoso Collection

3: Collaborative work with Texas A&M undergraduate students.

Students are organized into groups and work together to learn about the performance from different angles. The tasks each group has to complete include:

  1. Field recording: students should register a representative excerpt  of the performance.
  2. History of the performance: when and how did the performance start? What groups were involved? Has it changed through the years? If so, how?
  3. Participant observation: students have to attend the performances and describe their experience.
  4. Performance analysis: how is the event structured? Is there a narrative? Who are the performers?
  5. Spatial elements: where does the performance take place? How does the space help to shape the performance?
  6. Interview: students have to talk with someone directly involved with the performance.


Fall 2015 Group projects (Texas A&M students)

Spring 2016 Group projects (Texas A&M students)


Greg Bailey, Archivist and Clements Curator — Cushing Memorial Library & Archives, Texas A&M University

John Bondurant, Digital Archivist — Cushing Memorial Library & Archives, Texas A&M University

Leonardo Cardoso, Assistant Professor — Department of Performance Studies, Texas A&M University

William Page, Librarian — University Libraries, Texas A&M University

Sally Ann Schutz, PhD student — English Department, Texas A&M University


Department of Performance Studies, Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University Libraries

Cushing Memorial Library & Archives, Texas A&M University

Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture, Texas A&M University


Click on the image below to visit the TSP:

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Musical Topographies, Fall 2014 — Undergraduate Ethnography Projects, Texas A&M University [under construction]

In the Fall semester of 2014, I assigned ethnography projects to students in my two Music in World Cultures classes at Texas A&M University. Most students conducted participant observation in the College Station-Bryan region.The topic of the projects varied widely. Some students looked into the relations between ambient music and consumption at coffee shops and stores, others examined the importance of the Texas Aggie Band in performing institutional identity. Before conducting the ethnographies, students reviewed each others papers in a blind review system.


Top left: diagram used early on in the semester for discussing the ethnography project. Top right: peer review form students filled out, giving each other productive feedback; center: stereo recorders used by the students during ethnography; bottom: piles of ethnography proposals and peer reviews.

You can find information about each of the roughly 200 projects on this map [under construction]. Zoom out to see all the markers, and click on each to see the project title and description, and audiovisual material (if any).

All information will be uploaded in December 2014.

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Rolezinhos and Pancadões: Brazil’s Suburban Youth

RolezinhoElPaisThe “rolezinhos” are hangouts suburban teenagers across Brazil organize via Facebook. The meeting point is the Shopping Mall. These events have become extremely polemical, partly because shopping malls are elitist spaces — where the sign of suburban youth crowds can cause the fear of “mass robberies.” The Atlantic published an article about this social phenomenon. It includes an interview with me, where I point out the relation between the funk parties (“pancadões”) and the rolezinhos. Both are powerful examples of spatial mobility, group mobilization, and subcultural affiliation. They mark the racial, spatial, class, and taste apprehensiveness that surrounds the suburban youth in Brazil today.


Sounds from the Street Protests in Brazil (June 2013)


Protesters on Paulista Ave. São Paulo. Source

In the last weeks street protests in Brazil have erupted not only in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, but also in small towns across the country.

What was initially a march against bus-fare increase in São Paulo became a much broader – multi- or non-partisan – protest against corruption and millionaire investments in soccer stadium infrastructure in preparation for the 2014 World Cup. Many Brazilians perceive this as exorbitant spending, a shocking contrast with lack of public security, deficient education and health system, and unreliable public transportation they have to face everyday.

You can learn about the protests here, here, and here.

Here is a collection of sounds from the protests. Please help me expand this audio collection!

Rio de Janeiro


June 18, 2013:

São Paulo

In the metro station, singing the national anthem (June 18, 2013):

Source: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=3159627245788

Also in the metro station, same day: