Luis Manuel Garcia-Mispireta is Associate Professor in Ethnomusicology and Popular Music Studies at the University of Birmingham. He writes prolifically on electronic music, and his new book is Together, Somehow: Music, Affect, and Intimacy on the Dancefloor.
How did you get to where you are today, professionally?
I had schooling in music from a very early age, due in part to some family history. My maternal grandfather forbade his children from pursuing music of any sort, due to classist prejudices against professional musicians. One of my uncles turned out to be very musical, however, and my grandfather was really brutal in suppressing that; my mother tells stories of him destroying my uncle’s musical instruments, whenever he found them.
At the same time, both of my parents came up in Peruvian and Colombian societies where dancing was an essential part of social life, and they both fell in love through dancing together. And so, my parents sent all their children to music lessons as soon as they could; in my case, they also saw that I shared their passion for dancing and sent me to dance classes for several years. I ended up getting into an arts-focused public school, which led me to specialise in voice and violin. In high school, I discovered the rave scene in my corner of Southwestern Ontario, which became a parallel passion to the mostly classical music that I was learning in school.