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Soundscapes of the Southwest

Join us for the second lecture in the Southwest Center’s Spring Lecture Series, “Soundscapes of the Southwest.” My wife Laura Monti’s lecture, “Indigenous Soundscapes of the Deserts and Sea: Aural Traditions of the Comcaac Community” will be on Wednesday, March 22nd at 4pm both in person (ILC 130) and over Zoom. 

A long time collaborator with Comcaac individuals and communities on coastal conservation in the face of floods and sea level rising, and on diabetes and covid preventation in ways that have saved dozens of lives, Laura Monti Ph.D. is a Research Associate with the University of Arizona Southwest Center and Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and Senior Fellow with Borderlands Restoration Network. 

Her work in health and biocultural diversity has shaped practitioners, researchers, community initiatives, and organizations in the Southwest US and Northern Mexico for twenty-five years. Her work in cultural ecology includes the revitalization of traditional songs and stories that guide young indigenous leaders’ initiatives in conservation, health, and language revitalization.  

She currently holds a Fellowship awarded by the Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research. For this presentation, Laurie will explore songs and soundscapes of the desert and Central Gulf coast region of Sonora Mexico. Participants are invited to listen to the sounds, songs, and lore of the inhabitants of this region. 

The Comcaac indigenous community are a so-called “endangered people” with a still-vibrant language and culture, with exceptional singing traditions that encode their knowledge and relationships with desert and marine ecologies for thousands of years.  

Through recordings of ancient and contemporary singing of indigenous elders, we will embark on an acoustical journey into biocultural realms of coastal cultural-ecological interactions, desert healing traditions, and navigational songs. We will consider how acoustic perceptions and song traditions of a desert-dwelling and seafaring culture are shaped by their environment and how these aural traditions are relevant to current and future generations.

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March 22 @ 16:00
4:00 pm — 6:00 pm (2h)

Arizona, ONLINE