Digital intervention of archaeological sounds of Tuza aerophones


Session Title:

  • Sensory Body (Papers)

Presentation Title:

  • Digital intervention of archaeological sounds of Tuza aerophones




  • Audio platforms and digital interfaces has been use to collect the sounds of a collection or aerophones made on pottery by Pasto indigenous communities that inhabit the high lands or Nariño in the Colombian southwest. This ceramic production has been recognized as Tuza (1250‑1500 C.E). These sonorous artifacts are related to believes and cosmovisions that the prehispanic indigenous communities manifested in harvest rituals. Ideas of the live‑cycle fertility are present in the morpho‑acoustic and visual design of these sonorous objects, resembling not only the proportional and cyclical shape of the snail conch, but also the female and male reproductive organs, and the 9 cycles maternity period.

    Sonorous objects in a traditional museum are confined to be muted and silent. Any manipulation of them can carry a degradation of the archeological object. In this research and artistic project, the use of digital technologies allows the recording of these sounds, and a platform to edit, process and transform the sound material. In this way, digital     soundscapes are created to bring a bridge between prehispanic instruments and their sonorous context, in a contemporary vision of music.

    This paper will present a digital approach to the archaeo‑musicology study of of material culture by Tuza communities, and how digital technologies used in the realization of the research, have improve to possibility to create contemporary sound design art of work based on archaeological material, proposing the sound as material inheritance and digital interface as a media to materialize sound in order to be explore, intervene and experience for new audiences.

    The Tuza project presents an art installation experience, where a visual design is combine with an electronic composition, in a proposal that does not purport to recreate the musical production of Tuza communities, but use their sounds as primary material to propose ways of combination and transformation thereof; taking as a conceptual base pre‑Hispanic indigenous beliefs related to water, agriculture and fertility, in ritual contexts led to the consecration of the human being to the continuous and balanced cycle of life, which the conch spiral is a symbol. The contemporary public is invited to experience the soundscape, into a space in which, through a surround distribution of 5.1 monitors, digital sound proposal is reproduce.

    In this space, the viewer will have contact with the soundscape that mimic these globular flutes: birds, monkeys and frogs, a metaphor of conversation that provides the hunter with his prey, before being brought into the ritual, where the sounds transform, and trance and conclusion are given by the arrival of the rains.

    The Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia, had supported the research and the collection belongs to the Archaeological Museum Julio Cesar Cubillos. Adriana Guzman is a composer and researcher who work as a tenure professor in the school of music at Universidad del Valle.