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Please join us for our final workshop session of the Winter quarter. We are pleased to announce Will Faber, PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology, University of Chicago - GOH 205, 4.30-6.00pm
“A Pretty Duff Place to Be:” The London Musicians’ Collective and the Ethics of Improvisation in Thatcher’s Britain
This chapter focuses on the London Musicians’ Collective, a cooperative organization which produced concerts, records, workshops, radio programs, and festivals between 1974 and 2009. Drawing on interviews with member musicians as well as the organization’s own meeting minutes, administrative records, correspondence, and negotiations with funding agencies, I ask how this group constructed a politics of race and gender by variously critiquing, affirming and disowning the changing location of jazz as a racialized musical form within British cultural hierarchies during the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Hope to see you all there!
Please join us this coming Thursday, 6 March, for our penultimate EthNoise presentation of the Winter Quarter.
Combat mid-term blues with a great workshop session and refreshments.
We would like to welcome our guest speaker, Elizabeth Branch Dyson, Editor at the University of Chicago Press (acquires books in education, ethnomusicology and other music, and philosophy).
Her workshop paper is entitled “What Book Editors Want”
This highly informative talk will
* provide an overview of book publishing today
*discuss the procedure of revising a dissertation into a book
*outline the submission procedure
*explain how peer reviews work
*and the publication process
We hope to see many of you there.
Same time/place as usual: 4.30-6.00pm, GOH 205
Please join us Thursday January 23, 4.30pm (LOGAN CENTER, Rm. 501) – please note the change from the usual location. This is a collaborative workshop with Center for East Europe and Russian/Eurasian Studies.
We warmly welcome Professor Elsie Dunin who will present the following paper:
“Forty-Five Years (1967-2012) of a Romani Spring Event in Skopje, Macedonia”
As a dance ethnologist, my studies focus on continuities and changes of social events with a dancing component. Since 1967 I continue to observe and record a community-wide event of the Romani population in Skopje, Macedonia in relation to their evolving social changes. Most of the dancing took place in public spaces within a framework of a five-day calendar holiday, known with multiple names – Gjurgjovden (St. George’s Day) a Slavic Macedonian term, Erdelezi (coming of spring) a Turkish-based term, and šutalo pani (spring waters) a Romani term. The diminishing public dancing during this event parallels a period that introduces major socio-cultural changes to Romani families such as a change of personal living space (1960s), encouraged education (1970s), and migrant work opportunities (1970s–1980s). After Macedonia’s secession from SRF Yugoslavia in 1991 and into the 2010s there are numerous proselytizing religious groups and humanitarian non-governmental organizations, an emergence of conflicting Romani political parties, and the site of a new United States Embassy for Macedonia where a major part of this community-wide holiday was celebrated. Using the holiday event with its own continuities and changes since 1967, the presentation provides a selected overview of socio-cultural markers in a parallel time period.
Accompanied by PowerPoint the presentation shows selected images and dancing examples from 1967 into 2012.
Elsie Dunin is Professor Emerita (Dance Ethnology), University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and dance research advisor with the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research (IEF) in Croatia. Dunin is also active with the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) Study Group on Ethnochoreology and with the Cross-Cultural Dance Resources (CCDR) in Arizona. Her research focuses on the relationship of socio-cultural changes with the continuities and changes in social dance events. Studies have taken place in Macedonia among both Macedonian and Romani populations; with the Croatian diaspora in California, Chile and Australia compared with source emigrant areas in Croatia. Professor Dunin is author, editor, and compiler of numerous publications.
Please join us on Thursday January 16, 4.30pm, (Goodspeed 205) for our first workshop of the Winter Quarter.
We would like to welcome Jamie Cartright and Lauren Eldridge who will present a paper entitled
“Sight and Sound: The Transcription of Haitian Folkloric Rhythms”
Happy New Year! Hope your Winter quarter is productive and enjoyable so far despite the weather. This quarter, we have plenty of exciting EthNoise presentations coming up. Details are being finalised as we speak so more information to follow soon! Our first workshop will be on Thursday 16 January, 4.30pm-6.00pm, GOH 205.
Thursday 16 January – Jamie Cartright and Lauren Eldridge - “Sight and Sound: The Transcription of Haitian Folkloric Rhythms”
Thursday 23 January – Professor Elsie Dunin - “Forty-Five Years (1967-2012) of a Romani Spring Event in Skopje, Macedonia”
(Prof Dunin is Professor Emerita (Dance Ethnology), University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and dance research advisor with the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research (IEF) in Croatia). This is a collaborative workshop with the University of Chicago’s Center for East Europe and Russian/Eurasian Studies.
Thursday 6 February – Elizabeth Branch Dyson (Associate Editor at the University of Chicago Press in Ethnomusicology)
Thursday 20 February – EthNoise, Music History/Theory Workshop and Composers’ Workshop present a joint Symposium: “Far Calls. Coming, Far: Ritual, Material, Sound.” (1.30-6.30pm, Performance Penthouse, Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts) – more details to follow
Thursday 6 March – Owen Kohl (PhD student, Anthropology, University of Chicago)
Thursday 13 March - Will Faber (PhD student, Ethnomusicology, University of Chicago)
Please join us this coming Thursday for an opportunity to hear current graduate students’ tales from the field. Short presentations will be given by Kate Pukinskis, Ameera Nimjee, Meredith Aska McBride, and Will Faber. Come and here about the current state of these fieldwork projects and have the chance to offer feedback.
4.30-6.00pm – GOH 205
Hope to see you there!
Please join us and our guest speaker for this fascinating paper
“Patrimonialization as a mean for identity building: the experience of Judeo-Spanish musical practice”
At the beginning of the 20th century, during the Ottoman Empire crisis, the Jews of the region, mainly Judeo-Spanish, began to construct an identity in order to singularize themselves from the future national majority, a process for which patrimonialization was a central tool. Proverbs, beliefs, history, and musical practices were patrimonialized and identified as representative of the Judeo-Spanish identity. In the case of musical practices, the music became a dominating identity flag that survives until today, visible on several international stages. How was such a process effectuated? How and why did the music acquire such a prestigious position?
In this communication, I will highlight the means developed by the Judeo-Spanish to constitute their musical heritage that will identify the Judeo-Spanish identity. In other words, I am proposing a track response to the problem of the definition of this music and the way it was established. From this historic glance, I will emphasize the current contextual significance of the process, which is marked by the considerable rise of “world music” on an international scale.
Jessica Roda received her Ph.D in Ethnomusicology from the Université de Montréal and in Musicology from the Université Paris-Sorbonne (2012). As anthropologist and ethnomusicologist specialized in Jewish culture, her dissertation concerns the construction of Judeo-Spanish musical heritage in France. She currently part-time instructor at the department of urban and tourism studies (UQAM), and is a postdoctoral researcher with the Canada Research Chair on Urban Heritage (UQAM) where she works on the representation of Jewishness in Montreal’s public space. Roda is also the French review editor of the Canadian peer-reviewed journal MUSICultures. She is an active member of several societies, publishes regularly in academic journals and collected works, and participates in conferences in academic, cultural, and popular circles.
Dear All, please join us for the Society for Ethnomusicology conference dry run. At this session, UChicago graduate students who are presenting at the approaching conference in Indianapolis will have the opportunity to workshop their papers before the big day. In addition, UChicago visiting student (2011-12) Siel Agugliaro will share his AMS paper with us.
NB. This session will be held on the TUESDAY (rather than the usual Thursday slot), beginning at 5.00pm in JRL 264. We hope to see lots of you there to support our presenters.
Presenters include Nadia Chana, Alisha Jones, Danny Gough, and Siel Agugliaro.
Nadia Chana: “You Need Equal Measures of Extreme Joy and ‘Don’t Fuck With Me’”: An Embodied Approach to the Ethnography of Singing
Tomie Hahn, Priya Srinivasan, Elisabeth Le Guin, and other ethnographers who have an active music or dance practice stress the importance of embodied knowledge to understanding music and dance, often looking to their own bodies as field sites. To Toronto-based voice teacher, Fides Krucker, this act of looking into the body to see what is inscribed there is foundational for singing. Responding to these scholars and to my work with Fides, I mine my bodily archive for my embodied knowledge of singing. I trace how Fides’ teaching, specifically via a concept of vocal technique that is closely knit with emotion, gives rise to a worldview. For Fides there is no clear boundary between one’s audible voice and one’s metaphoric voice. She points out, for example, links between a decreased ability to say no and an inability to muster adequate subglottal pressure, or a habit of feigned cheeriness and decreased ability to allow the voice darker resonances. She has been known to say, pointing to her sternum, “Behind here you need equal parts of extreme joy and ‘don’t fuck with me.’” In asking questions about how these specific voice practices become worldviews, some broader questions about ethnography become pertinent: What does it mean to write about Fides’ work when Fides herself is writing a book? How does a worldview arising from an ethnographer’s embodied practice shape her approach to ethnography in general? More specifically, what happens when it is the interlocutor who has helped the ethnographer find her metaphoric voice?
Alisha Jones: “I Shall Get Home Someday”: Black Countertenors, Bio-Musicality, and Gendered Gospel Performance
Countertenors are typically men who perform music that matches the vocal range and timbre of female contraltos and mezzo-sopranos in the Western art music tradition. These men are typically trained to deploy a full-bodied vocal delivery such that listeners are unable to determine whether the sound is emanating from a male or female body. Black male operatic countertenors who perform in Christian churches and other gospel settings must contend with a distinct set of cultural tensions to demonstrate their performative competency. Music ministers also face challenges in choosing repertoire for countertenors, particularly when those ministers lack experience working with men with that vocal designation. Shared anxieties concerning uses of the body in performance reveal the ways in which black male gesture is a contested component within gospel contexts.
Drawing on a case study of a black male countertenor and ethnography of his performance, this paper explores perceptions of a sexually indistinguishable vocal sound. I highlight the sociotheological complications that arise as sonically ambiguous performances of gender compete with longstanding heteronormative constructs. In what ways do countertenors negotiate their performances of sexuality and gender in gospel performance? How do bio-musical perceptions shape notions of communal identity and belonging? I suggest that bio-musicality offers a fresh way of thinking through these questions and about the broader role of gendered sound in black performance.
Siel Agugliaro: The illuminated factory. La Scala and its concerts in Milanese factories (1974-1979)
The social and political struggles that afflicted Italy for an entire decade after 1968 led to criticism against those institutions that, more than others, showed the persistence of precise social boundaries. Despite the fact that the Teatro alla Scala was a publicly funded opera house, its high ticket prices still created a barrier that made the theatre one of the favorite meeting-places of the Milanese bourgeoisie. For this reason, charges of elitism were often directed to La Scala and its cultural policies. In reaction to this situation, superintendents Antonio Ghiringhelli (1948-1972) and Paolo Grassi (1972-1977) endeavored to strengthen La Scala’s roots on the local territory, at the same time encouraging a larger involvement of the lower class and thus implicitly denying the idea of La Scala as an exclusive institution. Grassi, in particular, made a considerable effort to establish cooperation with the labor unions and to promote a wide range of performances specifically directed to the working class.
Among these events, a special place was devoted to the concerts that La Scala organized inside several factories around Milan. Important performers, like Claudio Abbado — who served as music and artistic director at La Scala between 1972 and 1979 —, took part in the concerts, which nowadays are often referred to by Italian scholars as an important experience of music democratization. Combining ethnographic and historical approaches, my paper aims to investigate a lesser-examined page of La Scala’s recent history and its cultural implications. Interviews with both the performers and the audience of the concerts, together with newspaper accounts and archival sources, will contribute to define the political context in which the concerts took place, and to prove the effectiveness of the cultural policy fostered by La Scala in those years.
Daniel Gough: The SESC-SP and Theories and Practices of Leisure in São Paulo’s Aural Public Sphere
This paper examines how the SESC-SP (Servico Social do Comércio de São Paulo) network of cultural centers creates aural spaces of leisure in the contemporary city of São Paulo, Brazil. Specifically, I argue that the SESC participates in the production of “listening heuristics,” or instruments of cultural policymaking that organize disparate musical practices while promoting specific modes of engagement with sound. Following a brief overview of the multi-layered bureaucracy that mediates listening practices in the city’s aural public sphere, I will present a discussion of the ways that the administration of the SESC-SP has used foreign and Brazilian conceptions of leisure and cultural action as a theoretical basis for musical interventions such as public concerts, exhibitions, and recordings. Founded in 1946 via a federal law, the SESC branch in the state of São Paulo has devoted an increasing amount of resources toward the promotion of various “artistic languages,” including music, since the 1980s. Drawing upon ethnographic work conducted in São Paulo throughout 2012 and 2013, I will show how the curated, directed listening practices facilitated by the SESC-SP become implicated in debates over cultural rights and the social production of the city, as well as demonstrate the alternately divergent and complementary logics of social inclusion and economic accumulation characteristic of social life in this urban agglomeration.