CURTIS CARLISLE BOUTERSE, PhD
PO Box 84025 San Diego CA 92138
"curt at bouterse dot com"
|My father, myself, and friend and mentor Jozef Pacholczyk, on the way to receive my PhD, 1996.
World History. Anthropology. Folk Art. Ethnomusicology.
My initial training was as an archeologist. The requirement was that
most courses be in anthropology, but that a wide range of history, art, and other subjects should be included. This suited
me just fine. I ended up with majors in history and art history in addition to anthropology, with minors in geography and
music. It took five years. My interests in archeology were the early Aegean, pre-Incan Peru, and Central Asia, all fields
which have taken off in the intervening years. I spent most of my energy on Central Asia, knowing full well there was little
chance I would ever get to go there. In the 1960's the Russians were extremely sensitive about their inner Asian frontiers
and "China," as far as the United States was concerned, was a small island between Japan and the Philippines.
My second degree was in music and I was fortunate to spend several years of intensive study with David Ward-Steinman,
a dedicated, talented, and charismatic polymath. But I continued with all the world history courses I could fit in: the Middle
East, the Soviet Union, the Far East, Africa, early Europe. One memorable year I was studying medieval music, medieval history,
medieval art, medieval philosophy, medieval literature (with Jerry Farber, yes: That Jerry Farber), and the history of libraries.
The university didn't have Latin or I probably would have taken that too, though I had studied it for 2 years in junior high
school, back in the Dark Ages. They did offer Arabic, in which I did poorly.
After a decade of working, mostly in a bookstore, studying, and occasionally teaching, I returned to get my master's in
World Music. I studied a wide range of areas, including American Indian music, Korean court music, Sumatran Batak music, and
Indian classical music. But my main emphases were Bali and Africa. The department at San Diego State brought master native
teachers from around the world and I was able to study gamelan with I Wayan Sinti, I Wayan Rai S., I Komang Astita, and K.R.T.
Wasitodiningrat (Pak Cokro), among others. I studied African music with J.H. Kwabena Nketia, Ghanaian drumming with Kwaku
Ladzekpo, and Senegalese drumming with Zak Diouf.
I had a genuine World Music Moment when, during a summer study in Indonesia, I watched a session with the rare Batak nine-drum
ensemble at Lake Toba. They asked if anyone wanted to try, so I picked up the sticks and astonished them, and myself, when
the breakneck, interlocking parts were channeled through Zak and Kwaku.
I presented my M.A. lecture-demonstration to a special meeting of the Southern California branch of the Society for Ethnomusicology.
Mantle Hood was the honoree and he came up to me afterward, offered to publish my work, and invited me to come back to the
University of Maryland Baltimore County to study with him. He had maintained for years that ethnomusicology was an approach
and technique which could, and should, be applied to any and all music, not just "exotic" musics. My work had been about using
world music styles and techniques to inform and understand medieval European music, so he was excited about the possibilities.
It didn't take me long to say "yes."
While at UMBC I studied gamelan theory with Mantle, but most of my research was with Jozef Pacholczyk, my mentor and immediate
friend. I often say that I walked into Jozef's office the first day on campus, sat down, and we talked nonstop for the next
three years. I did find time to have wonderful academic experiences, including studying kora with the late Djimo Kouyate.
And Wayan Rai came back to UMBC to study and we got our PhD's on the same day.
I believe, more strongly than ever, that everything is related and that no knowledge is ever wasted. My interests become
broader with each passing day and each bit of information. I know my insights have deepened precisely because of the widening
scope of my experiences, and I wish to share this understanding with all.
1987-96 University of Maryland Baltimore County. PhD, Ethnomusicology
1980-83 San Diego State University. MA, World Music
1966-68 San Diego State College. BA, Music
1961-64 San Diego State College. BA, Anthropology, History, Art History
1959-61 Oceanside-Carlsbad Junior College. AA, Humanities
1991-92 San Diego State University. Instructor
1987-88 University of Maryland Baltimore County. Teaching Assistant
1986 Mesa Community College. Instructor
1983-86 San Diego State University. Instructor
1981-83 San Diego State University. Graduate Assistant
1973-81 San Diego State University. Lecturer
Music of Africa and the Americas
Graduate Seminar: Organology
Introduction to Music Theory
Music in Contemporary Life
American Folk Music
Introduction to Music
1971-Present. Founder, Director: Alfonso X, medieval music ensemble
1966-86. Founding Committee, Consultant: San Diego Folk Festival
1963-86. Founder, Director: San Diego Shape Note Singers
1977-85. Freelance graphic artist, layout editing, calligraphy (including: Eating Out in San Diego; The Best of San
Diego; Annual Bookstore Guide, San Diego Booksellers' Association)
1980. Editor, The Lost Wine: Seven Centuries of French into English Lyrical Poetry, by Dr. John Theobald
1979. Author, Nixon's Farewell
1985. 'World Music as a Tool for Recreating Early Music,' in Progress Reports in Ethnomusicology, vol 1, no.
1979. 'Reconstructing the Medieval Arabic Lute,' in Galpin Society Journal, XXXII
1966-70. Numerous articles, reviews, transcriptions in The Khrome Kazoo, west coast folk music magazine
1996. Literacy, Orality, and the Cantigas: Toward an Ethnomusicology of Medieval Europe. University of Maryland
1976. 'Sakara' from Dahomey, Comparative Anthology of Musical Forms, by Dr. David and Susan Ward-Steinman
2008. 'Alfonso X Memorial Medieval String Band, Santiago de California' (CD in progress)
2008. 'Waiting for Nancy,' Eagle's Whistle Music
2006. 'Down the Road I'll Go.' Eagle's Whistle Music
1981. 'El Rayo X,' with David Lindley. Elektra Records
1980. 'The Long Riders,' with Ry Cooder. Warner Brothers, motion picture soundtrack and album
1979. 'Hangin' On,' motion picture soundtrack
1975. 'Bounty Man,' motion picture soundtrack
1971-Present. Alfonso X, medieval ensemble (since 1990, two performances per year)
1966-Present. Numerous solo concerts of American traditional music (appearing with such performers as Doc Watson, Jean
Ritchie, and Brownie McGhee)
1966-Present. Annual performer, San Diego Folk Festival (later, San Diego Roots Festival)
1963-86. San Diego Shape Note Singers
1980-86. Trio Antiqua, early music ensemble
1980-86. San Diego State Balinese Gamelan Orchestras (gong kebyar, angklung, gambuh, & gambang ensembles)
1963-86. Radio & TV appearances, Texas & California
1970-73. Heritage String Band, San Diego
1992. Workshops on medieval music: Society for Creative Anachronisms
1984. Professional paper: "Early Music and World Music," Southern California Chapter, Society for Ethnomusicology, SDSU
1981. Professional paper: "Reconstructing Spanish Medieval Music," Colloquium on Early Music Performance Practice, SDSU
1978. Workshops: San Diego Early Music Society Weekend
1973. Performance-Demonstration: Comprehensive Musicianship Seminar for College Music Teachers, SDSU
1971. Performance-Demonstration: Southern California Chapter, American Musicological Society, UCLA
1973-75. Staff announcer and host of 'Around the World with Music,' KFSD-FM, San Diego
1974-Present. Southwest American Indian: Hopi, Navajo, Kumeyaay, PaiPai
1984. Oaxaca, Mexico
1982. Sumatra, Java, Bali
[Click on any picture to enlarge.]