Upcoming Events

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Date: 3:30 PM March 8
Location: Davidson Library, Special Collections Seminar Room

CISM in the Archive Series: “Curating Sound Stories: Art, Ethnography, and Practice in Special Collections at UCSB”

Ethnomusicologist, sound curator and artist Noel Lobley presents some creative, interactive and performative sound curation, blending examples from his own practice with rare sounds selected from the special collections at UCSB. Noel is an ethnomusicologist and sound curator who works across the disciplines of music, anthropology and sound studies to develop a series of international curatorial residencies. His research and practice in sound curation focuses on ethnographic field recordings and aims to connect local musicians and communities with institutions and audiences. Through extensive fieldwork in sub-Saharan Africa, much of his creative practice takes sound and music recordings out of archives and back among communities. He has collaborated with musicians, sound artists, DJs, composers and performers in South Africa, the UK and throughout Europe and the US to develop creative and responsible ways for recordings to be experienced in spaces ranging from art galleries and museums to schools and township street corners.

  1. March 8, 2017 - 3:30pm
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Date: March 10, 2017 1 PM

Location: Music Library 2406

In January 2016, a Guinean hip-hop artist, Tamsir Touré, appeared in court for sexually assaulting a young girl. The case had generated intense coverage over several months after a video of the assault was circulated. Tamsir became a local cause célèbre for both feminist activists in Guinea and for his supporters. On the one hand, activists were galvanized by the public display of the crime and the anger that it stirred in Guinea, and took to the streets and airwaves in angry protest. On the other hand, Tamsir’s young supporters and fans made numerous public pleas, including musical ones, for him to be released and for his crime to be forgiven. 

In this talk, I explore the limits of musical activism by considering some of the varied ways in which music has addressed women’s rights and gender-based violence in Guinea. In particular, I consider two songs that are closely connected to the case of Tamsir Touré: one, a UN-commissioned song against sexual violence, and the other, a song calling on Guinean women to forgive Tamsir and his crime. As I argue, rights agencies often assume that music is an empty vessel upon which unequivocal messages can be imposed. Yet as the examples here show, such understanding ignores the ambivalence that musicians and audiences often hold towards women’s rights in Guinea, as well as the local emphasis on forgiveness as a social virtue. In a context in which crimes of sexual violence are to be forgiven, what can music do?

Nomi Dave is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Virginia. Her research explores the relationship between music, voice, politics, emotion and violence. She is currently completing a book, ‘The Revolution’s Echoes: Music, Politics & Pleasure in Guinea’, which examines the aesthetics and pleasures of authoritarianism. She earned her PhD from Oxford University, and previously taught at Duke University in Music and Cultural Anthropology.
  1. March 10, 2017 - 1:00pm

The Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music (CISM) is an association of faculty and students at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) that promotes the study of music across academic disciplines. CISM begins with the position that music is an important and powerful cultural practice, which becomes fundamental in shaping the materialities and methods of social life. By sponsoring diverse projects that engage multiple fields of knowledge, CISM works to expand the boundaries of traditional music research by creating an environment for high-level study and discussion of music that is not restricted to specialists.