Juan Castrillón

Fourth Year Graduate Student in Ethnomusicology
103, Music Building
215 898-7544

Graduated from the Anthropology Program at the University of Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia, with honorary thesis about The Relationship between Music and Muslim Spirituality in current Istanbul and awarded for being best graduate student of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities in 2011, Juan Castrillon has developed a work primarily ethnographic cultivating a long-term fieldwork in Turkey (2005 – 2014; Istanbul, Izmir, Kütahya, Ankara, Mersin and Urfa) and in Colombian Northern Amazon (2012 – 2014; Vaupes). In Turkey, not only recording music in Sufi ceremonies but participating as supernumerary musician in public concerts, in addition to be engaged until the present with Ottoman calligraphy, Ebru painting and Ney reed flute’s professors in Istanbul. In Amazon, recording and co-producing five releases grasping musical expressions and talking about sound, territory, instruments, music learning process and methods in three communities – work funded by a Ministry of Culture’s Fellowship in partnership with the National Library of Colombia. (The links referred to the recordings and works appear below).

Going above and beyond the academic environment, in past years he worked on theatre, scenic arts and magic. He performed as a juggler and main character in Noel Company’s Christmas Show, aside from teaching Rhythms for Arabic dances, coordinating culinary workshops and composing contemporary dance’s music pieces. He has applied a Turkish Music Therapy System in Colombian patients and has trained players of musical instruments in Turkish Classical and Sufi Ottoman repertories for over six years in Colombia, in addition to found three Ottoman Turkish music groups (Hoja de Palma, Al-Baqa & Trece Cálamos) and perform more than 25 concerts with them, being the firsts projects of Ottoman Turkish Sufi Music in Colombia. By the other hand, he produced two television programs about the History of Turkish Music (in collaboration with the University of Antioquia and the Turkish Music State Conservatory of Istanbul), two discographies with the songs of the Medicine-woman Gloria Gonzalez Atekokolli in Medellin, two releases with Hoja de Palma (2005 – 2008), and his most recent release: a compilation of his 13 years as Ney player entitled “Juan Ibrahim: Stories about how 13 calams have been finding certain man” in Spanish/Turkish edition (2014).

His current research as UPENN PhD student is centered on developing a broader genealogy of the concept of “mystical audition,” beginning with Ottoman music theory and Sufi texts, continuing onto the role of music from the historical Ottoman background perspective, and ending with current Sufi and Ottoman classical music teaching. In Vaupes, the northern Amazon Region, he has been exploring aurality formation and the ways in which this process has been able to produce bodies, instruments, and repertoires and to amplify modalities of wisdom that both manage health and regulate spirituality. His methodology includes fieldwork, repatriation of old recordings to Amazon communities, Ottoman Music Theory books’ analysis and discussions about sonic narratives, recording techniques and musical practices understood as an historical technics of subjective transformation’ process.



Sí Oímos Selva



Hoja de Palma


Puente luminoso

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