Events

  • picture of Aaron Fox
Wed Feb 21, 2018 
3:30pm - 5:00 pm
UCSB Library, Special Research Collections (3rd Floor, Mountain Side)
 
Abstract: In this paper I will offer a broad view of “repatriation” and “recovery” projects undertaken in recent years by activists and ethnomusicologists working with archives of recorded sound.  Even when such work is focused on applied goals in the present, the turn toward repatriation suggests historical critique of ethnomusicology’s longstanding interdependence with militarism and colonialism. I connect the history of recording and “collecting" Native American music in the early 20th century to the later Cold War context in which contemporary ethnographic ethnomusicology emerged in its current institutionalized form -- in part through a reification of the earlier 20th century archive as ahistorical cultural data,  I interrogate the view of sound “archives” (and the work they have done to discipline our understanding of “music”) as sites of memory and scholarship in order to stress their importance as sites of domination and resistance, suggesting  a phenomenology of the "archival recording" that assumes a history of hegemonic mediation. I advance a specific critique of “repatriation” discourse in ethnomusicology as an ethically fraught domain, however necessary.  The paper is based on 12 years of work “repatriating” recordings from the Laura Boulton Collection at Columbia University. 
 
Bio: Aaron A. Fox is Associate Professor of Music and Director of the Center for Ethnomusicology at Columbia University. In recent years Fox has focused on issues of cultural and intellectual property and the repatriation of Native American cultural resources, as part of a broader interest in cultural survival and sustainability and music-centered community activism. His current project entails work with several Indigenous communities to return and recover recordings held by Columbia University’s Center for Ethnomusicology, including collaborative work with numerous Indigenous scholar/activists.  Fox's publications on this topic include “The Archive of the Archive” in The Routledge Companion to Cultural Property (2017) and “Repatriation as Re-Animation Through Reciprocity” in The Cambridge History of World Music: Vol. 1 (North America). His book, Real Country: Music and Language in Working-Class Culture, was published by Duke University Press in 2004.
 
Aaron A. Fox

 

  1. February 21, 2018 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
  • timothy rommen lecture poster

Date: 3:30-5PM January 31, 2018 

Location: Music 1145 

 

Tools for Un-islanding? The Creole Geographies of Dominica’s Popular Music

Timothy Rommen

University of Pennsylvania

Focusing specifically on the historical trajectories of popular music emanating from the Commonwealth of Dominica starting in the 1970s (cadencelypso andbouyon), this paper develops an inquiry into what I call creole audibility. Creole audibility wrestles with the simultaneous and somewhat paradoxical audibility (within other genres) and inaudibility (as discreet genres) of these creole sounds within and without the Caribbean. I argue that the linguistic, processual, and identitarian uses of the “creole” so thoroughly integrated into analyses of Caribbean social and cultural contexts are inadequate to the Dominican scene and, by extension, to the contemporary moment throughout the region. New questions emerge in light of these Dominican musical trajectories: Can we think about creole sounds as instantiating, following Michel Foucault, a particular type of (very productive) heterotopia? That is, can cadencelypso and bouyon play the role of a sonic mirror that is simultaneously sounding the “there where I am” and the “there where I am not” of the Dominican social imaginary? What might thinking about these genres as sonic mirrors (both utopian and heterotopic, both audible and inaudible, both bounded and borderless) afford us in terms of developing critical purchase on the contemporary dynamics of small places (Dominica) and peripheral spaces (the Caribbean)? Can creole audibility be productively nuanced by recent work in archipelago studies that explores how the ubiquitous presence of the sea informs the relations between simultaneously interconnected yet isolated and discreet spaces? Put otherwise, are cadencelypso and bouyon shaped by an archipelagic (as opposed to an islanded) understanding of space that informs both social imaginaries and sonic possibilities? Finally, can we, in answering these questions, begin to understand the creole sounds of Dominica as decolonial tools—as tools for un-islanding? As Gordon Henderson (the pioneer of cadencelypso) has put it: “Some may say we are divided by the sea. I say we are linked by the sea.” 

Timothy Rommen (Ph.D. University of Chicago, 2002) is the Davidson Kennedy Professor in the College and Professor of Music and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He specializes in the music of the Caribbean with research interests that include coloniality/decoloniality, the political economy of music and sound, creole musical formations, tourism, diaspora, music and spirituality, and the ethics of style. His first book, entitled "Mek Some Noise": Gospel Music and the Ethics of Style in Trinidad (University of California Press, 2007), was awarded the Alan P. Merriam Prize by the Society for Ethnomusicology in 2008. His is also the author of “Funky Nassau”: Roots, Routes, and Representation in Bahamian Popular Music (University of California Press, 2011). He is contributing author to and co-editor, along with Daniel Neely, of Sun, Sea, and Sound: Music and Tourism in the Circum-Caribbean (Oxford University Press, 2014). His current projects include a musical ethnography of Dominica and an edited volume on the political economy of music and sound in Caribbean tourism.

 

 

  1. January 31, 2018 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
  • the poster of score
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - 7:00pm - 9:30pm
Pollock Theater, UCSB

Score (2016)

Screening format: Sony 4K Digital Projection (93 minutes)

Director: Matt Schrader

Producer: Robert Kraft

This event is free but a reservation is recommended in order to guarantee a seat. 

Reserve Ticket

Tickets will be released on Tuesday, January 9 at 11:00 AM.

Score: A Film Music Documentary follows the creative struggles of designing a modern film soundtrack from scratch. Featuring some of Hollywood's premier composers, the film explores the power and influence of film scores in the modern world and gives viewers a privileged look inside the musical challenges of the process of composing a score.

Producer Robert Kraft will join moderator David Novak (Music, UCSB) for a post-screening discussion.

Watch the film's trailer here.

  1. January 30, 2018 - 7:00pm to 9:30pm
  • poster of the event

Workshop:
January 22 5 PM
Storke Plaza

Performance:
The Hard-to-Find Show Space
January 22 8 PM

On January 22nd, KCSB-FM, the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music (CISM), and The Hard to Find Showspace present a night of independent music with Arrington de Dionyso & Ben Bennett, along with Espresso, The Crudes, Easter Teeth, and Pookie.

Before the show, the public is invited to participate in a free, on-campus improvisational-music workshop with Arrington de Dionyso and tour-mate Ben Bennett in Storke Plaza (near KCSB) on the UCSB campus.

The workshop will focus on improvising with extended techniques, sharing skills and strategies for creating "new" instruments from more familiar elements. Their areas of focus are wood winds and percussion, respectively, but all instruments are welcome and there will also be some demonstrations of extended techniques for voice that can be used by all. (Note: In case of inclement weather, the workshop will move to the Media Center in the Associated Students Annex, immediately across the bike path north of Storke Tower.)

Bios:

Arrington de Dionyso is an artist, musician, linguist, and instrument inventor based in Olympia, Washington. From 1995 until 2008 he was the leader of Old Time Relijun, a beloved art-punk combo that released eight albums with K Records. In 2009 he founded Malaikat Dan Singa, melding free associative Indonesian translations of William Blake with dancehall rhythms and postpunk angularity. This project led to numerous collaborations with musicians in Indonesia such as Senyawa, Karinding Attack, and HMM. Now in 2018, THIS SAXOPHONE KILLS FASCISTS would not exist were there not a need for it.

Benjamin Bennett has worked as an improvising percussionist for 10 years, touring North America and Europe as a soloist, in various ensembles and ad-hoc collaborations. He developed a unique approach to percussion which took the lineage of free-jazz, free-improvisation, Berlin reductionism, and extended technique playing as its foundation. In searching for an expanded sonic palette, and more fluid movement between various techniques, he distilled the drumset into a small collection of drumheads, stretched membranes, and other objects which offered a wide variety of unconventional sounds from very few materials, which could be rearranged into different combinations during a performance. This aesthetic development also translated to a practical advantage, in that this setup was small enough to fit into a backpack, freeing him from using a car to transport heavy percussion gear. He began touring by bus and bicycle, even completing a 7-day, 7-show bicycle tour through New England.

Showtime for this eclectic Hard to Find show is 8pm, and tickets will be available at the door for $5.
A drug-and-alcohol-free, all-ages venue, The Hard to Find is at 7190 Hollister Avenue in Goleta.

  1. January 22, 2018