Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Conference
Nov
10
4:00pm 4:00pm

Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Conference

I will be presenting a paper entitled "Rustic Chivalry: Heroes, Outlaws, and the Sicilian Marranzano".

Abstract:

Since the early 2000s, the Sicilian marranzano (jew’s harp) has been enjoying a revival. Rising from the ashes of the postwar “cultural grey-out” observed by Alan Lomax, who recorded a Sicilian marranzano song in 1954, the marranzano is being embraced as a symbol of Sicilian identity and cultural renewal. At the same time, the instrument’s resurgence is self-consciously cosmopolitan, and tethered to the transnational jew’s harp movement taking place around the globe. This new image for the marranzano, however, has not entirely superseded the instrument’s enduring mythology: that it was once the instrument of bandits, in particular, the outlaw hero Salvatore Giuliano. Was this association born of fact or fiction? Did Giuliano and his band really use the marranzano? And are such legends compatible with the urbane, activist bent of the present-day revival? Part ethnography and part historical ethnomusicology, this paper delves into the marranzano’s past and present. In the process, it uncovers a long tradition of criminal depictions of marranzano in Italian cinema, which, I argue, is at the heart of the instrument’s lasting legacy in local memory. Drawing on Bithell and Hill’s work on music revivals as activism (2014), I suggest that these popular representations are not wholly at odds with the anti-corruption advocacy of the present marranzano resurgence. Rather, they co-exist along the spectrum of rebellion, self-determination, and pastoral nostalgia that is a defining axis of Sicilian patrimony.

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AMS-SMT Joint Conference
Nov
3
10:00pm10:00pm

AMS-SMT Joint Conference

I will be presenting a paper at the AMS Popular Music Study Group session, entitled "The Anatomy of Style: Playing Technique as Musical Artifact".

Abstract:

The jew’s harp has, at various times, been one of the most popular musical instruments in Europe. First appearing on the continent in the 13th century (Kolltveit 2006), the instrument has undergone several cycles of mass production right up to the 21st century, and is currently experiencing a global revival. While it is easy to argue that musical instruments are musical artifacts, what about the techniques that are used to play them? In this paper, I contend that playing technique is an artifact that gets transmitted, historicized, and reproduced in the evolution of popular traditions. Using the ethnographic case study of the Austrian Maultrommel (jew's harp), I analyze the ways in which a music revival writes its own history through the inclusion of certain techniques and the exclusion of others. By examining three centuries of Maultrommel playing techniques through visual artwork, archival recordings, and contemporary performances, I trace the lineage of two different styles of playing: the Wechselpiel style, which became canonized as “traditional” and registered with UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage, and the Alpine style, which is no longer used by present-day musicians. What are the processes that shape some techniques into artifacts and relegate others to obscurity? And what can the survival of certain styles tell us about changing tastes and technologies? Addressing these questions, I suggest methods for interpreting playing techniques, and demonstrate their applicability towards the understanding of popular traditions.

 

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Researching Music: Interviewing, Ethnography, and Oral History
Jun
6
to Jun 7

Researching Music: Interviewing, Ethnography, and Oral History

The Institute of Musical Research, the British Forum for Ethnomusicology, and the UK & Ireland branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music invite proposals from researchers interested in participating in a full-day seminar at Senate House, University of London, on Monday 6 June. The seminar will explore recent thinking about methods for researching music, from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, with a particular focus on interviewing, ethnography, oral history, and the relationship between them. Speakers will include Ruth Finnegan, Sara Cohen, Rachel Beckles Willson, Lucy Durán, Simone Krueger, Sue Onslow, and Jaime Jones.

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Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Conference
Dec
3
to Dec 5

Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Conference

I will be presenting a paper entitled, "'The Death of the Drone': The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of the maultrommel in Central Europe."

http://www.indiana.edu/~semhome/2015/index.shtml

SEM’s Annual Meeting attracts participants from around the world. With a wide variety of scholarly presentations, discussions, films, workshops, and concerts, the meeting is a prime occasion to learn about current research in ethnomusicology and to make or renew contacts with others in the field. For most meetings, a local host institution organizes a pre-conference symposium and special events that highlight local music ensembles and resources. Prizes for outstanding work in ethnomusicology are also awarded during the meeting.

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ICTM Conference, Kazakhstan
Jul
15
to Jul 22

ICTM Conference, Kazakhstan

  • National University of Arts (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

I will be presenting a paper entitled, "Hidden Creators: The role of blacksmiths in the international jew's harp revival"

The 43rd ICTM World Conference will be held between 16 and 22 July 2015 at the Kazakh National University of Arts in Astana, Kazakhstan.

The ICTM World Conference is the leading international venue for the presentation of new research on music and dance. Many new initiatives emerge at World Conferences and, perhaps even more crucially, discussion at these meetings helps us shape our ongoing work. A successful World Conference is a truly stimulating place to be, and a wonderful place to meet and share ideas with colleagues from all over the world.

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BFE-SFE Conference
Jul
2
to Jul 5

BFE-SFE Conference

I am presenting a paper entitled "Revival/Continuation: Paradigms of transmission and boundaries of knowledge in the Norwegian munnharpe smithing tradition"

The Société Française d’Ethnomusicologie (SFE) and the British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE) joint conference in Paris, 2-5 July 2015. 

In recognition that this will be the first joint meeting of the two institutions (and the first time the BFE will be holding its annual meeting outside the United Kingdom) we have chosen the theme "Border Crossings/Boundary Maintenance".

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Anthropology in London Conference
Jun
15
1:30am 1:30am

Anthropology in London Conference

I will be presenting a paper on an ethnomusicology panel on musical instruments.

Paper title: "The imagined community incarnate: Virtual connectedness and co-presence in the international jew’s harp revival." Anthropology in London, University College London, June 15, 2015.

Anthropology on the Move 

Monday 15 June 2015 9.30am-6pm, and evening reception

University College London, Department of Anthropology, 14 Taviton Street & E28 Harrie Massey Lecture Theatre, 25 Gordon Street, London

Questions around migration, mobility, borders, and belonging dominate the contemporary political agenda. In recent decades, anthropological studies of the routes and the roots of people, goods, and ideas have highlighted the interconnectedness between local and global. By doing so, the discipline has successfully challenged static conceptions of what it means to belong. Yet while anthropologists have arguably ‘caught up’ with dynamic and changing social realities, there is an ongoing need to think about how the discipline positions itself to stay at the forefront of social and cultural transformations and processes of deterritorialisation (as well as new territorial creations). How will anthropology keep pace with a hyper-connected world in which our subjects of study are ‘on the move’ in a multitude of ways?

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Musical Instruments & Material Culture Conference
Mar
26
6:00am 6:00am

Musical Instruments & Material Culture Conference

I will be presenting a paper entitled "The Norwegian munnharpe revival: A dialogue between material and intangible culture"

A conference to be held jointly by the Horniman Museum and Gardens and the Royal Anthropological Institute.

An interdisciplinary conference linking organology, the study of musical instruments, with anthropology through the subject of musical instruments as objects of material culture, viewed holistically to consider aspects ranging from their manufacture to the cultural values they embody.  

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Song Collectors' Collective Gathering
Mar
22
4:00am 4:00am

Song Collectors' Collective Gathering

I will be giving a talk at the upcoming Song Collectors Gathering, where I will be speaking about my experiences collecting jew's harp music around the world, as well as the role of song collecting in the international jew's harp revival. There will be plenty of great music and interesting speakers. A must for anyone interested in traditional music!

Taking place over two days 21st & 22nd March in the beautiful Blackheath Conservatoire and St Mary Old Church for the Sat interviews and conversations, we present a celebration of the art of song collecting, this year under the theme ‘Collecting sounds from cultures internationally’. 

 As in previous years we will have insightful talks on various aspects of song collecting from esteemed invitees such as Shirely Collins MBE, Alistair Anderson and Lucy Duran, Deirdre Morgan as well as a visit from some unique and last of their kind ‘song carriers’ from the Irish and Scots Traveler and Gypsy community. It will be a day of phenomenal stories, experiences, lives and melodies

11.am event starts opening panel

11.20 Lucy Duran – Griot families and transmission of oral culture in Mali

12.20 Alistair Anderson – Passing the tunes on – Roots of Northumbrian culture

1.20pm – lunch

2.20 – SCC films featuring cuts of some of the footage shot on the SCC field trips

2.45pm - Deirdre Morgan – Collecting Jews Harp music in Europe

3.30pm - Shirley Collins MBE – In Conversation with the first lady of folk about her travels with Alan Lomax in the Southern States of the USA

5.30pm end of Gathering

Head over to The Nest Collective’s website to get your tickets:

For Saturday at St Mary Old Church: http://thenestcollective.co.uk/shows/events/21-mar-15-song-collectors-collective-gathering-st-marys/

For Sunday at Blackheath Conservatoire: http://thenestcollective.co.uk/shows/events/22-mar-15-song-collectors-collective-gathering-blackheath-conservatoire/

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