Luis-Manuel Garcia Mispireta: "Thickening Something: Convergent Music, Affect, and Sociability on the Dancefloor"
Duke Music lectures are free and open to the public.
ABSTRACT: How is it that "the one rush of hearts"-that swirl of feelings and music and sweaty bodies on a crowded dancefloor-can thicken into something that feels like communion and community? In this talk, I turn to the nexus of sound, feeling, and togetherness to investigate how collective listening and dancing can give rise to a sense of inchoate sociality- that is, something like a "we" coalescing under the surface of shared musical experience. While the idea that "music brings people together" is a common trope that is especially pervasive in electronic dance music scenes (EDM), accounts vary as to how music exerts such socially binding force. In club cultures, partygoers often use the term "vibe" to describe how they understand music to work in these contexts, bringing dancers into a sort of synchronicity of feeling. By understanding "vibe" as a subcultural conceptualization of affect, I explore how music-driven emotional convergence intersects with scholarship on musical entrainment, emotional contagion, ritual practices, and resonance.
Luis-Manuel Garcia is a Lecturer in Ethnomusicology and Popular Music Studies at the University of Birmingham. His research focuses on urban electronic dance music scenes, with a particular focus on affect, intimacy, stranger-sociability, embodiment, sexuality, creative industries and musical migration. He is currently conducting a research project on 'techno-tourism' and musical mobility in Berlin while preparing a book manuscript, "Together Somehow: Music, Affect, and Intimacy on the Dancefloor."
Presented in association with the Departments of Cultural Anthropology; Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies; the Program in Latina/o Studies in the Global South; and the UNC Department of Music.