Percussion: Counterculture Within

Transplanted Roots: Percussion Research Symposium is designed to convene researchers and professionals working in the ever-changing field of contemporary percussion. The overall goal is to integrate and present written, oral, and performance research in percussion and construct a global picture of this quickly evolving discipline, with a fresh and critical view that escapes the dominance of the European-North American tradition. The format consists of paper presentations, lecture-recitals, and concert performances.

Submission Deadline: May 25, 2019
Proposals may be submitted in English or Spanish.

Fees and Registration: Early Registration: August 1st ($150 USD, $100 USD students)
Regular Registrastion: August 15 ($175 USD, $125 USD)
Final Deadline to Guarantee Accomodation: September 1

On-site registration during symposium is avaiable with no guaranteed food or accomodations at the university discounted rate.

All fees in USD.

Keynote Speakers


Percussionist, conductor, and author Steven Schick was born in Iowa and raised in a farming family. Hailed by Alex Ross in the New Yorker as, “one of our supreme living virtuosos, not just of percussion but of any instrument,” he has championed contemporary percussion music by commissioning or premiering more than one hundred-fifty new works. The most important of these have become core repertory for solo percussion.

Steven Schick is artistic director of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus and the Breckenridge Music Festival. With Claire Chase, he is co-artistic director of the Summer Music Program at Banff Center in Canada.

Also active as a conductor, he has appeared with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony, Ensemble Modern, the International Contemporary Ensemble, and the Asko/Schönberg Ensemble. In 2018 he curated and was conductor and percussion soloist in, “It’s About Time,” a festival of the San Diego Symphony designed to highlight the musical dimensions of the cross-border area.

Schick’s publications include a book, “The Percussionist’s Art: Same Bed, Different Dreams,” and numerous recordings including the 2010 “Percussion Works of Iannis Xenakis,” and its companion, “The Complete Early Percussion Works of Karlheinz Stockhausen” in 2014 (Mode). For the latter, he received the Deutscheschallplattenkritikpreis for the best new music release of 2015. He was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 2014.

Steven Schick is Distinguished Professor of Music and holds the Reed Family Presidential Chair at the University of California, San Diego.


Paraguassú Abrahão es percusionista de la Orquesta Sinfónica del Teatro Municipal de Río de Janeiro y profesora de la Universidad - Conservatorio Brasileño de Música (CBM-UNICBE).

Obtuvo su Licenciatura en Música por la Universidad de Río de Janeiro (UNIRIO) y Licenciatura en Percusión en la Escuela Superior de Música y Artes de Frankfurth, Alemania. Su tesis de doctorado: “Percusión: toque de sentido”, realizada en la Universidad Federal de Río de Janeiro, trata del sentido de la articulación que emociona, articulación que es anterior a cualquier movimiento mecánico que produce frecuencias sonoras. Su trabajo de posdoctorado, en el Programa de Posgrado en Filosofía de la Universidad Federal de Río de Janeiro (UFRJ) es una continuación de su investigación de doctorado el cual, a partir de la experiencia del ser en relación con la música, busca cuestionarse la situación del escucha y la interpretación.

Paraguassú Abrahão is a percussionist of the Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro Symphony Orchestra and professor at the Universidade Conservatório Brasileiro de Música (CBM-UNICBE). She holds a bachelor’s degree in music from the Rio de Janeiro University (UNIRIO) and a bachelor’s in percussion from the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany. Her doctoral dissertation “Percussion: sense of touch” written at the Rio de Janeiro Federal University, focuses on the meaning of articulation and resounds with the inner emotions, articulation that exists before any mechanical movement producing sound frequencies. Her post-doc work at the Post-graduate program in Philosophy at the Federal University of Río de Janeiro (UFRJ) it’s a development of her doctoral thesis which looks into the experience of being through


Born in Mexico City, Ricardo Gallardo studied at The National Conservatory and The School of Music of The University of Mexico. To date, he has performed widely in the Americas and Europe in solo concerts, record releases, as well as in radio and T.V. broadcasts. He also studied in Canada, on a Scholarship from The Banff Centre for The Fine Arts, where he played and collaborated with outstanding musicians and composers. He moved to London where he completed a Masters Degree in Performance at The City University and developed a solo career that took him to perform concerts all over Europe.

In 1993, he founded Tambuco, one of the world's leading percussion ensembles today. As a performer, composer, as well as director of Tambuco Ensemble, Ricardo Gallardo's career focuses on creating, performing, and promoting all languages of new music through close collaboration with composers, the premiere of his works, collaboration with various artistic disciplines as well as teaching new generations of percussionists through masterclasses, clinics and seminars around the world.

Due to his outstanding activity as percussionist, he has received several awards such as The Mexican Council for the Arts and Culture scholarship , The British Council fellowship, the Stipendienpreis and Kranichsteiner preis by the Darmstadt New Music Institute, The University of Mexico's Award for Artistic Creation and the Mozart Gold Medal In Degree of Excellence, awarded by the Austrian Embassy and Domecq Cultural Institute. As director of Tambuco, he received the Japan Foundation Award for Arts and Culture, the highest distinction offered by Japan to an Artist. Ricardo Gallardo is one of the most dynamic percussionist of today and one of Latin-America's leading performers.

He has recorded as soloist in special radio broadcasts for The Canadian Broadcasting corporation (CBC), National Radio of Spain, Swedish Radio, South Germany and Mexican Radio Corporations. He has performed in some of the most important new music festivals in Europe and America amongst which can be mentioned: Festival Internacional Cervantino in Mexico; Het Slagwerk Festival in Holland; Electrifying Exotica Festival, The Nettlefold Festival and The Henley Festival in England; Voices in Scotland; Festival International de Musique Experimentale in Bourges, France; Elektrisk Helg, in Sweden; Percussive Arts Society International Convention in the USA; Festival Europalia

in Belgium, Luxembourg and Holland; Festival Latinoamericano de Música in Venezuela; The ISCM World Music Days in Mexico City; and Festival Inventionen in Berlin; The Green Umbrella and Monday Evening Concerts in LA plus many performances as soloists with symphony orchestras.

The repertoire of Ricardo Gallardo includes all principal works for solo percussion, percussion concerti and diverse chamber music combinations. He has commissioned a great number of pieces written by Latin American and European composers who often employ ethnic percussion instruments, combined with electronic and computer media resources.

Downtown Guanajuato

Downtown Guanajuato

Call for Proposals

Transplanted Roots 2019 will focus on ways in which contemporary percussion has ventured towards, gone against, or branched out of traditional aesthetics and conventional music making in order to evolve, (re)define, and search for new ideas, creations, and practices. We are looking for works, methodologies, performances, and performance practices which resonate, reflect, and address individual, communal, regional and global issues with urgency. 

In historical terms counterculture has been associated with movements in society that have challenged the status-quo by rebelling against pre-established ways and conventions. We believe that contemporary percussion emancipated itself from the traditional role and function within Western classical music idiom in order to develop, evolve, and become one of the richest and most exiting mediums for music-making in our contemporary cultures. We would like to use the opportunity to reflect on this transformation and create discussions (both in words and sound) that address these situations, thus clearing the path taken collaboratively and collectively by the composers and performers involved and presenting current thoughts and music practices derived from this history.

Percussion: Counterculture Within seeks to engage percussionists around the world in a productive conversation to explore the following:

• How has percussion practice set itself apart from more traditional forms of music making?

• What characteristics are intrinsic to percussion instruments that makes them susceptible and appealing to experimentation and new music?

• Can instruments coming from traditional music become a means of revolutionary creation?

• What kinds of interactions have made percussion instruments a means to evolution in contemporary music?

 The review committee welcomes submissions that relates to the conference theme, Percussion: counterculture within either directly or obliquely. 

Transplanted Roots invites submissions for the 2019 percussion research symposium, to be held September 12-14 at University of Guanajuato. Guanajuato, Mexico (arrival: September 12; departure: September 15). Submissions are accepted in the following formats: paper presentation, lecture-recital, or concert performance. In each case, a maximum of 25 minutes is imposed, and concert performance submissions of 15 minutes are encouraged. All participants will need to register for the event, which will cover catering and entry to all activities.

Registration Fee: $150 for professionals; $100 for students, retirees, and observers.

Financial assistance: If the proposal is accepted, the symposium will provide Letter of Acceptance to assist participants applying to their own funding agencies to cover registration, accommodation and travel costs. Limited travel scholarships are also available to current students.

The University of Guanajuato will hold hotel rooms at a discounted rate near the music building (Holiday Inn). Participants can pay for their accommodation either in advance or at their arrival.

Submissions must include the following information, in PDF format:

• Name, institution and contact info of presenter(s) (please list all names in case of group submissions)

• Session type (paper, lecture recital, or performance)

• Title of submission and abstract. paper: 250-word abstract. Lecture/Recital: 250-word abstract + stage set-up/instrument requirements. Performance: 250-word abstract + stage set-up/instrument requirements.

• Biography of key artist/presenter (250 word)

• Technical and instrument requirements (please note this section must include all requirements. Please also note we might provide alternative solutions to maximize the inclusion of your submission due to possible limitations of the hosts technology and instrument inventory).

• In the case of performance submissions, links to relevant media (YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, etc.)

The deadline for submissions is May 25, 2019. Results will be communicated by June 15, 2019. Transplanted Roots is a peer-reviewed symposium. All submissions will be reviewed by two external reviewers in addition to symposium organizers.

Submissions and all questions should be sent to transplantedroots2019@gmail.com

Please note, it is only possible to present at the conference if a fully written paper/abstract/program note is received by August 1st, and that conference registration has been paid. These papers/abstracts/program notes will then be printed and printed as the official conference proceedings. 


Symposium conveners:

Ivan Manzanilla (University of Guanajuato, México), Host 2019

Vanessa Tomlinson (Griffith University, Australia)

Aiyun Huang (University of Toronto, Canada)

Steven Schick (University of California, San Diego, USA)

Transplanted Roots 2019 will be hosted by the University of Guanajuato in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Guanajuato, giving the symposium participants the possibility of exploring one of Mexico’s most important cultural centers of unique historical heritage, architecture and cultural activities.

Plaza de la Paz, Guanajuato

Plaza de la Paz, Guanajuato

Hotel Information

HolidayInn Express Guanajuato https://www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/es/guanajuato/bjxgc/hoteldetail

Contact: Lic. Atziri Magdalena Joaquín, Móvil (473) 7401216, Office: (473) 7352042.

Per night cost is $1,393.00 Mexican pesos, and includes breakfast.

DSC_0238 (1).jpg


Guanajuato is a city in central Mexico. It's known for its silver mining history and colonial architecture. Its network of narrow streets, alleyways and tunnels is typified by the Callejón del Beso (Alley of the Kiss), so named because the balconies are close enough for a couple to reach across and kiss. In a former granary, the Alhóndiga de Granaditas is an art and local history museum with pre-Columbian exhibits.



Please direct all questions and submissions to the organizing team: