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Andrew Skinner
Andrew Skinner, Class of 2018

Alumnus Andrew Skinner, B.S. in Business Administration 2018, was recently awarded a Preservation Grant by the Latin GRAMMY Foundation! Andrew, although not a music major, was heavily involved in the music department.

Having taken lessons and performed in the jazz combos and Charanga Carolina throughout his undergraduate career, he first learned about recording and mixing when he took both levels of Music Production with Jason Richmond (currently taught by Pablo Vega) during his senior year. The experience and skills he gained from the music department would prove pivotal to life after graduation for him.

“I’m thrilled that Andrew has pursued his professional work in music post-graduation. It’s been a privilege for me to continue advising him after being his ensemble director while he was a Carolina student,” said music department professor and chair, Dr. David Garcia. “He’s one of many special examples of Carolina students who, though not majoring or minoring in music, have benefitted greatly from taking classes in music with us and then using what they learn in our classrooms and rehearsal spaces when realizing their passion and professional goals in music.”

Daniel Zanessi
Daniel Zanessi

Currently based between Atlanta, GA, and Mendoza, Argentina, Andrew is a musician, audio engineer, and multi-media storyteller focusing on folk music and its cultural history. While conducting research at the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (Facultad de Arte y Diseño) for a Fullbright project to record life stories relating to the Nuevo Cancionero Movement, he began to work with Daniel Zanessi on plans to preserve archives of Cuyana music.

Their grant-winning project, “Preservation and Distribution of the Studio Zanessi Collection” (Rescate y Difusión de la Colección del Estudio Zanessi) aims “to digitalize, promote, and distribute unpublished recordings of invaluable cultural and historical significance to Argentina’s interior, archived in quarter-inch tape in Mendoza’s historic music studio, Zanessi Studios.”

Andrew credited his time in the music department for preparing him well for this work.

“While I’m doing these research projects, I learn to perform songs from them in order to internalize the music, relate with participants in my research, participate in the Cuyo community, and show my research in concert format,” he said. “Charanga Carolina planted the seeds for that performance-based approach for me.”

Top photo shows artists in the recording booth seen from behind a recording engineer sitting in front of the recording equipment. Bottom photo is up close with the artists in the booth. Both photos are in black and white.
Historic photos from Zanessi Studios shared with Andrew Skinner by Daniel Zanessi.

Andrew’s partner on the project, Daniel Zanessi, is a lifelong audio engineer and the owner of Zanessi studios. As the son of founder Arrigo Zanessi, he grew up in the studio and helped record many of the sessions the team is now working on digitalizing. He designed and built the studio’s state-of-the-art live room where he recorded decades of Cuyana music to tape. He currently devotes his attention to teaching audio and archiving and repairing the tape collection.

The Latin GRAMMY Foundation awards Preservation Grants each year to fund the archiving and preservation of Latin music and its unique customs. Andrew and Daniel’s project is explained in further detail in the Latin GRAMMY Foundation’s press release of this year’s grant recipients.

“This collection has been declared of national interest by the Province of Mendoza, and as its tape nears 50 years old, it is in urgent need of being preserved. The musicians who recorded at Zanessi, from around western Argentina, were foundational in shaping the sound of contemporary Argentine folk music. Many of these musicians formed part of the Nuevo Cancionero Movement, a social artistic movement founded in Mendoza in 1963 that sought to represent the lives and experiences of everyday Argentinians, promote Pan-Americanism, and bend traditional folk music rules. The movement, with the voice of Mercedes Sosa, the poetry of Armando Tejada Gómez, the melodies of Oscar Matus, and the compositions of virtuosic guitarist, Tito Francia, inspired and linked with other “New Song” movements around Latin America. The project to preserve the Zanessi Collection will make never before published recordings available on streaming services and local radio. The team will work with musicians and their descendants to publish the music, with rights remaining with the original holders, alongside their stories relating to the music and footage of the preservation process. As enthusiasts of Argentine “Música Popular” and Cuyana music in particular, Daniel and Andrew’s goal is to make this music available not only as a historical artifact but also to be listened to and enjoyed.”

by Catherine Zachary, B.Mus. 2010

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