Doctoral Project Tania Rubio

Biomusic: From animal communication to music composition

The aim of my project is to find new perspectives for musical composition through the transfer of findings from bioacoustics and eco-acoustics. My research focuses on the last fifty years of developments in music and science, in which technology has a fundamental significance for the progress of sound studies in the fields of electroacoustic music, sound art, zoomusicology, biomusicology, bioacoustics, and eco-acoustics.

I intend to transfer results from scientific studies in the field of bioacoustics and eco-acoustics to another perspective, namely that of art. I analyse and describe the acoustic phenomena of ecological relationships in certain soundscapes and use them as tools to find new approaches to composing.

My methodology makes use of mixed research strategies: firstly, listening to, recording, and analysing natural soundscapes; secondly, collecting and analysing compositions from 1970 to the present that relate to this theme; thirdly, to study these analyses in the light of scientific findings in the field of bioacoustics and eco-acoustics. On the basis of these experiences and insights, I will create new compositions that will extend the listening experience.

Through my artistic research I intent to understand animal communication as a living and changing acoustic phenomenon, and to create new imaginary and poetic worlds in which nature and humans are understood as equals.

1st supervisor: Prof. Carola Bauckholt, ABPU
2nd supervisor: Prof. Dr. Annegret Huber, mdw
External supervisor: Antonio Celis-Murillo, PhD, U.S. Geological Survey

Biography

Tania Rubio (*1987, Mexico City) is a composer, field recordist, and transdisciplinary artist, whose music has been presented in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, USA, France, Spain, England, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. 

Rubio focuses on transdisciplinary approaches through sound arts, bioacoustics, and interculturality, searching for knowledge exchange between art, science, nature, ancient cultures, and technologies. The study of oral cultures within their traditional contexts forms an important influence in her artistic work, which includes: African percussion and Fulê flute (Guinea, Mali, Senegal), the Gamelan Orchestra of Indonesia, the percussion tradition of Capoeira Angola (Brazil), the Mexican fandango tradition, and pre-Columbian instruments.

Rubio completed her Bachelor of Composition with honours at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in 2014.  She holds a Master’s degree in ‘Music creation, new technologies and traditional arts’ from the university UNTREF and a specialisation in ‘Objects theater, interactivity and new technologies’ from the Universidad Nacional de las Artes,  Buenos Aires, Argentina. Rubio has attended master courses with Estrada, Rocha Iturbide, Baca Lobera, Russek, Goebbels, Fure, Oliveros, Andre, Maierhof, Rosenboom, Ortiz de Zarate, Tolosa, and Minsburg. 

In 2019 she was ‘Composer in Residence’ at the Archiv Frau und Musik and Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt am Main. She was honoured for her project “Biomachines, Wind Animals” by the Arts, Science and Technology programme FONCA-UNAM. 

Rubio is the founder of Revueltas Sonoras which is dedicated to the dissemination of new musical works from Latin America and building a global network of artists. She has delivered workshops in Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, and Canada. Rubio is currently pursuing an artistic-academic doctorate at Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz, Austria.