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Ibímeni & David de Gandarias - LABUGA - Guatemala


LABUGA (the mouth) is a celebration of Garífuna culture consisting of a montage of traditional anonymous musical works with compositions by David de Gandarias, made from traditional music. The LABUGA compact is the audio of a multimedia montage that comprises live organic, electronic processing, computerized music, digital video, dance, theater and lights. In the montage LABUGA worked for approximately two years a group of Garífuna artists and intellectuals from Livingston, Izabal, Guatemala, together with a team of mestizo researchers and artists from Guatemala City. LABUGA is the place where the aesthetic heritage of the rural and traditional Garífuna merges, without hierarchies, with its own principles of the mestizo, urban and current.

LABUGA was born from the idea of ​​confronting racism through the establishment of real intercultural links and the expectation of entering new aesthetic and sound paths through experimentation.

The LABUGA compact is divided into four sections that correspond to various genres of traditional Garifuna music. Each of these parts is made up of an electronic composition based on certain instrumental or vocal features that characterize these styles, together with the performance of the live instrumental group in an electroacoustic way. The organic interprets –generally, at the end of each section– traditional compositions of each of these genres.

In LABUGA the digital resource corresponds, both to an expressive need, and to an awareness of contemporaneity. Electronic paraphernalia has been used to extend and magnify the instrumental and vocal gesture. The live participation of the traditional Garífuna group in direct interaction with the computerized sound elaboration specifies that process of exchanges between complementary universes that is the engine of this musical montage.

Ibímeni is the most important traditional musical group in the Garifuna community of Livingston. For the specific assembly of LABUGA the group has been directed by David de Gandarias (Notes from the brochure)




Elvira Álvarez

Berta Sandoval

Cosme Baltazar

Xiomara Norales


Sergio Núñez: garaon first (Garifuna drum)

Higinio Flores: garaon second

Máximo Ramírez: sísiras (Garífuna maracas)

Edwin Álvarez: sísiras

Isidro Bonilla: sísiras

Tulio Baltazar: garaon first

Gregorio Lucas: coordinator

David de Gandarias: electronic composition, editing, direction and production


01 – Chumba

02 – Jungújugu

03 – Abéimajani

04 - Punta

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