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Thursday 24 April – Meredith Aska McBride and Michael Riendeau

Dear All

Hope you can all come along to our first workshop of the Spring quarter!

Please join UChicago PhD candidate Meredith Aska McBride with guest speaker, Michael Riendeau for their presentation entitled “The Evolving Role of the Urban Arts Educator in the 21st Century”


Over the past several decades, music education, and arts education more generally, has entered an era of privatization, in which students largely access formalized arts education either through private, tuition-based programs or through teaching artists subcontracted to teach in public, private, and charter schools. Since the turn of the 21st century, arts education, and music education in particular, has often been used by policymakers and administrators to attempt to accomplish other social policy goals, mainly targeting urban children of color euphemistically known as “at-risk youth.” This presentation describes and examines Chicago’s music education landscape through these twin lenses of privatization and citizenship, exploring both the issues and the opportunities present in this model. PhD candidate Meredith Aska McBride will begin with an overview of music education in Chicago, contextualizing it within nationwide trends. Noted Chicago-based teaching artist Michael Riendeau will then describe his career, pedagogical methods, and teaching philosophy and discuss how he responds to these ideological formations within his own work. Michael and Meredith will then jointly discuss the after-school drumline program at EPIC Academy in the South Chicago neighborhood, where Michael is finishing his third year as a teaching artist and where Meredith has completed fieldwork observations.


Meredith Aska McBride is a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology at the University of Chicago. Her dissertation is entitled “Harmonizing the City: Music education and urban citizenship in Chicago.”

Michael Riendeau is a noted teaching artist and percussionist based in Chicago. He holds a BA in music from Lawrence University and has studied a number of forms of West African drumming in Paris, Ghana, and Senegal. His teaching work in the Chicago area has spanned diverse settings, including residencies at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center and in numerous schools across the city, mainly on the south and west sides; and serving as a private percussion teacher at several schools in the north shore suburbs. Michael frequently speaks and teaches on teaching artistry and has worked in particular with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Institute, the Civic Orchestra, and the Merit School of Music.


Same time (4.30-6.00pm), Same place (GOH 205)

See you there!

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Spring Quarter Schedule

Watch this space for more information!
Week 3 – Friday April 18, 12pm: South Asian Sound Interventions Symposium (Fulton Recital Hall, GOH) 
The South Asian Sound Interventions along with the Department of Music present a symposium as part of a larger series of events, “Affective Labor in Dance: South Asia and Beyond.” The symposium will feature two panels of paper presentations, a conversation with a Chicago-based dance company artistic director, and a keynote lecture by Professor Pallabi Chakravorty, Swarthmore College. All programs are free and open to the public. No registration is required.
Week 4 – Thursday 24 April, 4.30pm: Meredith Aska McBride and Michael Riendeau (GOH 205)
“The Evolving Role of the Urban Arts Educator in the 21st Century”
Week 5 – CANCELLED, apologies
Week 7 – Thursday 15 May, 4.30pm: Dr Ron Pen, Professor at the School of Music, University of Kentucky
Week 9 –  Thursday 29 May, 4.30pm: Maria Welch, PhD student in Ethnomusicology, University of Chicago


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Thursday 13 March – Will Faber


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!

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Thursday 6 March – Owen Kohl – “Sounding Like an Uncertain Future: Hip Hop Economics in a Post-Industrial Context of Scarcity”

Dear All

Please join us this coming Thursday, 6 March, for our penultimate EthNoise presentation of the Winter Quarter.

We are delighted to host Owen Kohl, PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago
GOH 205, 4.30 – 6.00pm
“Sounding Like an Uncertain Future: Hip Hop Economics in a Post-Industrial Context of Scarcity”
The Yugoslav music industry, which continues to be locally portrayed as once the envy of other Eastern European states, underwent a dramatic transformation during the 1990s. The biographies of ex-YU artists, consumers, and distributors straddle a period of seemingly never-ending ‘transitions,’ not only from self-managed state socialism to neoliberal democracy, but also within a regional music industry whose business models have radically changed in the wake of new forms of legal, quasi-legal, and primarily illegal digital distribution. Music scholars have explored in detail the war-time politicization of musical differences along national lines (e.g., Baker 2010, Čolović 2008, Gordy 1999), but the ongoing transformation of the socialist-era industry has yet to be as systematically thematized. Artists often narrate the transformation of the record business in ex-YU in terms that run parallel to the trajectories of other regional industries that have been subject to bankruptcy, offshoring, and forms of ‘rational’ restructuring. Despite the recent proliferation of music festivals, independent labels, and clubs that distribute and support ‘alternative’ genres, pursuing hip hop in any sort of professional capacity demands that most artists must have other sources of income. Ex-YU remains a region in which Apple’s iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, eBay, and other legal online distributors of music remain largely absent. Regional music rights organizations now try to curb rampant illegal download in order to recoup profits. However, a vociferous debate rages among artists as to whose future the support of intellectual property law, the crass mass mediated promotion of pop genres, and a more integrated EUropean future best serves. Now that gigabytes of music are downloaded with swift mouse-clicks as opposed to painstakingly collected, older DJs lament the increased competition for scant gigs and the deterioration of listening practices. In Chapter 2, I analyze artists’ articulations of present-day professional limitation and argue that the past, sometimes including an era of ‘good life’ socialism, often emerges as a nostalgia-inflected historical epoch during which music could be more than just a hobby for a broader demographic of performers.
Owen Kohl: As a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology, Kohl attends to the shifting significations of ‘urban’ music, national identity, and economically re-structured local culture industries on EUrope’s southeastern periphery. His dissertation research is focused specifically on a newly transnational network of hip hop musicians in Zagreb, Croatia, Belgrade, Serbia, and Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. This follows on his earlier investigation of global manifestations of hip hop social practices in France, Senegal, Croatia, Russia, and Mongolia.


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Thursday 6 February – Elizabeth Branch Dyson – “What Book Editors Want”

Dear All

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



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Thursday 23 January – Prof. Elsie Dunin

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.

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Thursday 16 January – Jamie Cartright and Lauren Eldridge

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” 

Jamie Cartright, mezzo-soprano, has returned to Haiti after a season with Palm Beach Opera’s chorus where she was also a soloist with the Anglican Chorale-Trinity Cathedral in Miami and the Master Chorale of South Florida. Jamie was featured on the cover of Ticket magazine for her concert at the Institut Français honoring women in classical music. Her most recent projects include the Matinée de Compositeurs Haïtiens with a host of esteemed musicians throughout the diaspora, and a recital accompanied by Micheline Dalencour and Lauren Eldridge reviewed by Le Nouvelliste. Jamie served as a clinician for L’Ecole de Musique Saint-Trinite in Port-au-Prince and L’Ecole de Musique Dessaix-Baptiste in Jacmel, Haiti. Born in New York, Jamie Cartright grew up in Haiti and returned to the U.S. to receive her Bachelor of Music at Stetson University in Florida. While in Haiti, she presented two solo recitals and sang regularly with L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Sainte-Trinite, notably during the memorial concert in 2010 for the victims of Haiti’s earthquake.
Lauren Eldridge is an ethnomusicologist who focuses on musics of the African diaspora. She is currently conducting research regarding Haitian classical music and its accompanying pedagogies. She obtained her B.A. from Spelman College in 2010 (International Studies and Music) and is a doctoral student at the University of Chicago.


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Happy New Year! Winter Quarter Schedule 2014

Dear All

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 JanuaryJamie Cartright and Lauren Eldridge – “Sight and Sound: The Transcription of Haitian Folkloric Rhythms”

Thursday 23 JanuaryProfessor 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 FebruaryElizabeth Branch Dyson (Associate Editor at the University of Chicago Press in Ethnomusicology)

Thursday 20 FebruaryEthNoise, 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 MarchOwen Kohl (PhD student, Anthropology, University of Chicago)

Thursday 13 March – Will Faber (PhD student, Ethnomusicology, University of Chicago)

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Thursday 5 December – University of Chicago Fieldwork Showcase

Dear All

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!


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Thursday 21 November – Jessica Roda, Ph.D (postdoctoral researcher – Canadian Research Chair of Urban Heritage – UQAM)

Dear All,

Please join us and our guest speaker for this fascinating paper


GOH 205

Refreshments provided!


“Patrimonialization as a mean for identity building: the experience of Judeo-Spanish musical practice”


In any process of constructing a nation, understood as the nation-state or as imagined communities (Anderson 2006), the patrimonialization of objects and\or practices is indispensable. patrimonialization helps the community to support the construction of its national identity by establishing clearly recognizable elements, such as symbols, history, music, language, etc. Thus, it is a process of making an inventory of the society, selecting, materializing, and finally institutionalizing these objects and practices to transform them into patrimony, which then become the carrier of national identity.

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.

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