PHD DOCTORAL RESEARCH
FROM RITUAL MUSIC TO ELECTRONICA:
THE TRANSFORMATION OF TRADITIONAL SANTERIA
INTO ELECTRONIC NEO-SANTERIA
Santeria ritual and music are components of the Cuban Santeria religion which is derived from West African Yoruba traditions. Santeria practitioners believe the music to be a practical technology for altering consciousness for the purposes of healing (Navarro, 2013 p.46). The neo-Santeria music style is a hybridisation of traditional Santeria with electronica and includes innovative visual communication approaches and performance methods. Neo-Santeria involves the spread of a Santeria/Yoruba multi-sensory music performance system, using new formats to present its objectives of transformation to global audiences as representations, and not necessarily directed at evoking an ontological mutation. This study investigates the transformation of Santeria into new contemporary forms using music analysis, autoethnographic fieldwork, and practice-led creative research. These performance innovations in neo-Santeria appear to develop from a set of underlying ritual principles that reflect cultural objectives of altering consciousness. The outcome is a neo-Santeria framework developed from the research insights and consisting of music, performance, cultural philosophies, visual symbols and narratives. This framework is applied to the creative works to provide an analysis of the translation process. The creative outputs consist of two music EPs of ten tracks in total, two album cover artworks, a music video, and visual records of live performance. Insights from the research illustrate the aural, visual, kinaesthetic, conceptual, and psychological nature of the neo-Santeria framework, and its development into global contexts and contemporary forms. This research makes a significant contribution to the field by being the first to use and define the term neo-Santeria to describe an electro-acoustic development and musical style evolved from traditional Santeria music and ritual practice.
Vincent is presenting at Dancecult 2023 and Sysmus23 in London from 18-20 October 2023, and at the Australasian Computer Music Conference on 9-11 October in Sydney. Please contact Vincent for enquiries on his research and music.
PHD CREATIVE WORKS, AUDIO AND PERFORMANCE EXAMPLES