Les De Afuera: Andrés Alfonso Lugo, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Andres Alfonso Lugo Cruz, a native of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, currently resides in Baltimore, MD where he continues his work as a teacher in the public education system of that state, works on his two musical projects Los Dientes Hundidos en la Garganta and Cielo Océano and recently his curatorial and cultural management practice with Rolando Perez in what they have called the mutation and reconceptualization of Grupo Giratorio, now Astral Cube.

Lugo studied graduate studies at the Center for Advanced Studies of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean specializing in History of PR and the Caribbean, obtained a Bachelor of Arts in History Education at the University of PR Río Piedras Campus. He also spent two years in the theatrical technical production program at the Arecibo School of Fine Arts and Free Music. In his quest to develop as a cultural manager in Puerto Rico, he entered the Arte Negocios program of the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, received the opportunity to participate in the NALAC Leadership Institute in 2014 in San Antonio, TX, being the first Puerto Rican resident on the island to be part of the program and participate in the Creative Capital workshops offered by Beta Local. 

In 2003, Lugo developed his cultural management initiative known initially as Giratoriodekspresion with the event called Giratorio Festival de Arte y Música Experimental using the theater of the School of Fine Arts and Libre de Música de Arecibo as headquarters and in 2009 he moved the event to the Sala de las Artes of the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón thanks to an invitation from the graduate program in Media and Contemporary Culture directed by Aileen Estrada, and the student council of said university institution directed at that time by Sonia Carmona supported by the interest of Pedro Velez to present the event at the institution. As of 2009, Lugo begins to expand the scope of her initiative, develops other concepts, and registers the initiative with the PR Department of State as a non-profit organization. The moment he sees the opportunity to continue developing the projects, he begins to collaborate and develops a small production and sound service company that helped him expand the scope of his projects. Then 9 editions of Hasta el Límite Sonoro appeared with musical tributes to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Velvet Undergound, Depeche Mode, Joy Division and CAN, El Audio Estudio en el 2do Pulguero de los Artistas curated by Lisa Ladner, SEES Sound for the Spaces / Spaces for Sound, Audio Culture Sessions and The 4 Exhibitions of Experimental and Independent Music in Sala Teatro Becket. 

Together with Antonio Gonzalez Walker, he develops the initiative called El Nuevo Sonidero based at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico where he integrates the SEES Residencia Sonora project and carries out audiovisual and interdisciplinary events at the Conservatory, the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico and the city of San Juan producing in turn several videos. Andres is invited by Lisa Ladner to curate the 2nd Sound Art Fair of Puerto Rico together with Jorge Castro and in 2013 he decides to propose to Lisa Ladner to conceptualize the 3rd Sound Art Fair by integrating a version of the Rotary called at that time the New Art Festival Music and Sound Experimentation with which he ended up winning, together with Norma Vila Rivero and Ladner, the prize of the International Association of Art Critics AICA for the best interdisciplinary art project that same year.

In 2010 he curated the Taller Vivo SonoMACLab at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico sponsored by Liliana Ramos Collado, curator of the MAC at that time and Marianne Ramirez Aponte Executive Director of the MAC where sound art was explored through composition, execution, recording and research. In 2013 she developed the SEES Ciudad Sónica project at the Un-Convention PR event again together with Marianne Ramirez. In 2012 he curated the Guajataca Downhill Music Fest.

Lugo has been part of the Puerto Rico independent music scene since 1997 as a member of the bands Astrid Proll, Pneuma, Sketch, Chuck Gnoider, Stigmata, Nevoc and collaborating with Matotumba, Introdujos and Flashback Disco Hiroshima. For several years he was the musicalizer for the adaptations of plays by Pedro Santaliz composing and performing live in those plays. Radio Giratorio, Pedalera Versus and Posibilidades are other projects and events conceptualized and developed by Lugo under Grupo Giratorio. His first experience as a sound engineer occurred in the presentation of Francis Schwarzt at the Museum of Contemporary Art in the event The World Musician-Theater of Francis Schwartz. His work as a sound engineer also stands out in the presentation of the Isleña Electronics Collective at the ElectroJulia event at the Museum of the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. 

This teacher by profession has also been part of a number of panels and talks as a panelist and moderator, among which we can mention The 2nd Sound Art Fair as a panelist, 3rd Sound Art Fair as a moderator, Un-Convention Puerto Rico as a panelist, Live Workshop: Orfeón San Juan Bautista: Subject and Object Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico as a moderator always addressing issues related to independent music production, cultural self-management, sound art and experimental music. Lugo has produced curatorial writings and essays for these panels and conversations for some of the projects he has conceptualized and curated. Several of these texts are: 

  • Expresiones y Manifestaciones Sonoras de la Urbanidad Un Registro Sonoro del Conflicto en la UPR (Sound Expressions and Manifestations of Urbanity A Sound Record of the Conflict in the UPR)
  • Arte Sonoro: ¿Cómo podemos entender el sonido como arte?, ¿Cómo podemos ver el arte a través del sonido? Ensayo sobre el arte sonoro desde la perspectiva de la composición musical (Sound Art: How can we understand sound as art? How can we see art through sound? Essay on sound art from the perspective of musical composition)
  • La funcionalidad del arte sonoro en el contexto educativo y empresarial (The functionality of sound art in the educational and business context)
  • La producción de conciertos y eventos musicales en el contexto de la música independiente y la producción musical de géneros relacionados al rock (The production of concerts and musical events in the context of independent music and the musical production of genres related to rock)
  • La Interrelación entre la Industria del Turismo Cultural y la Industria de la Música (The Interrelation between the Cultural Tourism Industry and the Music Industry)

At the moment Lugo is working on his two musical projects and on his projects El Indie Nacional and Repositorium that he has recently developed together with Rolando Perez for the initiative of experimental-interdisciplinary curatorship and research in support of independent music, new media in art, sonic arts and alternative culture based in Baltimore, MD and Washington DC Astral Cube. Andres’ cultural work has been focused on supporting the production of independent music in Puerto Rico, contemporary art and alternative cultural trends through projects with an educational, multidisciplinary and experimental approach from self-management with the vision of converting the cities into creative new urban centers with the ability to achieve real social change. 

Click here to participate in REPOSITORIUM: Reflexiones y preguntas sobre el futuro de las artes, la transformación del entorno social y los nuevos paradigmas educativos.

Click here to participate in El Indie Nacional: Experiencias Narradas – El impacto de la producción musical independiente en PR 1990-2020

Click here to visit Andres Lugo’s Instagram account.

Les De Afuera (2020) is a compendium of interviews with Puerto Rican artists who have made their life across the globe produced by Cranium Corporation.

Directed and Produced by artist and curator Á.R. Vázquez-Concepción, for Cranium Corporation.

Music by artist Andrés Alfonso Lugo.

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