Arévalo Mateus PhD ’12 Completes Audio-Preservation Project on Dominican Music

Jorge Arévalo Mateus Ph.D. '12

Jorge Arévalo Mateus Ph.D. ’12

An audio-archive project managed by Jorge Arévalo Mateus PhD ’12 will be available to the general public in the United States and the Dominican Republic in 2013. The project, “The Sacred and Festive Music of the Liboristas Communities of the Dominican Southwest,” contains 32 hours of field recordings gathered between 2001 and 2004.

With support from the GRAMMY Foundation® in the category “Preservation and Archive,” Arévalo Mateus digitally preserved music audio recordings captured in rural areas of the Dominican Republic preserving more than 20 genres. The result is the first archive documenting the different genres of music played at Liboristas communities including sacred and festive accordion genres; a percussion genre; an a capella religious genre; and others.

The archive also includes interviews about the religious continuity of the two Liboristas movements, one started in 1908 by Liborio Mateo, and the other in 1961 by Leon and Romilio Ventura. The interviews include personal histories of religious leaders and missionaries from the last 50 years, the birth of a new leader missionary, the birth of a new musician in one of the communities, and the tracking of the celebrations calendar during the years.

“The archive will have an impact for the Dominican ethnomusicology, popular religion, oral traditions and historical studies,” Arévalo Mateus said.

On Dec. 13, 2012, Arévalo Mateus completed his ethnomusicology PhD dissertation on “Somos Colombianos en Nueva York/We are Colombians in New York City, An Ethnography of a Colombian Musicians Community, 1995-2010.” He will attend the Wesleyan Commencement Ceremony in May 2013.