l to r: Photograph by Rebeca Pérez Gerónimo; Photograph by Radamantis Torres: https://www.flickr.com/photos/radamantis/3259235427; PHoto by Dan Lundberg: https://www.flickr.com/photos/9508280@N07/7704131550

Sound Journeys

Playlists for After Landscape

October 6, 2015

In anticipation of the 2015 Seminario Fundación Cisneros After Landscape, we commissioned three playlists that relate to or connect with the themes of this year’s seminar. For Rebeca Pérez Gerónimo, we asked the question: “Which songs would you choose for when you contemplate landscape, for instance at the beach?" From artist Armando Andrade Tudela, we asked for a playlist to activate landscape, more specifically, to accompany a hike; in his case, the songs provide a historical journey through the Peruvian Andes. And for journalist and music critic Raúl David Vázquez, we asked: “What would be your playlist for crossing a landscape: a road trip through the Pan-American Highway?” The following is the result of their journeys, to be listened to and shared, as we experience landscapes and thereafter.

Rebeca Pérez Gerónimo
Strike the sun
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"Revision of an idyllic landscape. The sunny and the sonorous meet the tropical where there are gestures that lead to tenderness and also, to shocks. Construction of a feeling that is nothing more than a pleasure, a joy, encountering the most serene of sunsets by the shores of the ocean and the resounding sun." 

Armando Andrade Tudela
Árbol de Retama 
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"For this playlist, I tried not to make a distinction between “traditional” Andean music—from field recordings to contemporary music stars like Dina Paucar—and electronic music. The idea is to lean towards the construction of a continuous landscape where traditional music appears like the shadow of a lost geography in the digital world; and on the other hand, to think of electronic music as “species of spaces,” capable of evoking phantasmic spaces.

There is a relationship between folklore and the phantasmagoric that is very present in the Peruvian Andes. Perhaps this is due to the sublime and telluric nature of the landscape, or because the “Andean world” is, at the end, the result of the collapse of two conjoined worlds: the Spanish and the indigenous. The Árbol de Retama [Broom Tree] was brought to the Andes during colonial times and has since come into its own. It blooms in a hard, dry climate and poets and singers dedicate verses to it. It is a mestizo plant, if such a thing exists."

Raúl David Vázquez
Click here for tracklist

"I was commissioned for a list of songs to accompany a trip through the Pan American Highway. I do not remember having driven through it. If I did, I wasn’t aware of it. Or maybe yes, but honestly, I do not know.

What I do know is that it is a long route, which runs from Alaska to Ushuaia, and is not very even. The highway passes through diverse ecosystems and different climates, and even the pavement in some areas is completely different from that in others.

The direction of this playlist began by taking these factors into account. As in all the other playlists I have made for road trips, I tried to include songs for singing; that is, classics that everyone knows, or at least are known by those people with whom I normally travel. New songs, old songs, songs that I’m obsessed with at the moment, songs for desolate landscapes, songs for reflecting behind the wheel, songs that serve to initiate a healthy discussion, songs for when sleep beckons. Yes, I am not particularly strict. There is only one rule: to not repeat anything from the same artist, and to not include anything by Maná, under any circumstance. Beyond that, anything goes. The only objective is that it sounds good, which is subjective and difficult to explain, but you, I suppose, know what I mean.

You must have a starting point. For this playlist, it was to include songs by artists who are from the countries through which the Pan American Highway passes: almost all the countries are represented. In the case of the United States, there are artists from the various regions through which the highway crosses.

The list starts with Kevin Johansen (accompanied by the legendary León Gieco), one of the most most beloved artists from Argentina, but who, oddly, was born in Alaska. Johansen asks: “South or not south?” South. And from there, go down. Some are old classics; yes, including platitudes but who is going to be annoyed by listening to Charly García or Aterciopelados again?  Others are emerging artists who came to the attention of this compiler through this very playlist request. There are also old songs, a bit ostentatious, that beg to be heard. And there are others that are mere whims of the compiler, songs that are there to tie up the rest, pure decoration, with no justification other than to be heard again.

The list ended up being very eclectic: there is 60s psychedelic music; garage rock; romantic Norteño; Peruvian cumbia; acoustic folk from many regions; salsa; that thing they call indie in some circles; classic rock; Chicano rock; protest songs; and jazz, among others styles for which, unfortunately, no label exists.

We hope that this playlist makes for a more pleasant trip."


Left: Photo taken by Rebeca Pérez-Gerónimo. Center: Photo taken by Radamantis Torres. https://www.flickr.com/photos/radamantis/3259235427 Right: Photo taken by Dan Lundberg. https://www.flickr.com/photos/9508280@N07/7704131550