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Launch of the ICTM Study Group on African Musics (UK)

Monday, November 28, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Marysol Quevedo
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Launch of the ICTM Study Group on African Musics (UK) 

On: Saturday 10th December, 2016


At: Wolfson Lecture Theatre

The Paul Webley Wing

(Senate House North Block)

SOAS, Russell Square

(see map below)

You are invited to this initial meeting to set up a group for the study and promotion of African music in the UK under the general auspices of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM), which has a central African Music Study Group and already has similar groups in other countries, including the USA and South Africa. We intend that the UK study group’s focus is regionally wide, including surrounding islands in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and North Africa and the global diaspora. We also intend that the study focus is stylistically broad to include “traditional” music, contemporary genres, and dance and film.

Our first meeting will take the form of a panel presentation followed by a general debate about how we want to take our group forward. It WILL start with a talking shop – as do many ideas of this nature – as we want the study group to be co-led by performers rather than developed as an exclusively academic study association. To this end, Amanda Villepastour will chair a panel of performers, including Dele Sosimi (Nigeria), Chartwell Dutiro (Zimbabwe) and visiting artist Bernard Woma (Ghana). From this meeting, we want to agree the activities we would like to see in the future and determine who will organise them.

Key discussion questions and thoughts: 

1.     How can we make this a distinctive UK African music study group beyond mere residence? What positive characteristics are there about the UK scene that we can build on?

2.     How can we enable equal participation of academic, performance and creative work both through our activities and the group’s visible outcomes? We already have a list serve set up through the ICTM, but should we instigate a YouTube channel and Facebook page to facilitate posting media and written materials? (Our first suggestion is that, with agreement, we video this meeting so that an edited version can be put up on the web in a form agreed on the day.)

3.     Should we have an active policy of inviting people to join the group? This may be the best way of getting as much of a mix as possible of cultural regions, musical styles, gender etc. I assume the working language will be English as we are in the UK but can we accommodate others?

4.     We want to make the group as accessible as possible in terms of geography and cost. What are the implications for the type of events we organise and their location? Should we consider some sort of membership (with a modest fee) to enable us to pay for basics and a bit of admin to maintain lists etc.?

5.     What should we look for as benefits of group membership (whether this is formalised or not)?

6.     Who is interested in sharing some written or performance work to make this group attractive, viable and successful? What can you contribute? How can we make the group equally useful and helpful for performers and scholars?

7.     What will we call ourselves? The ICTM has ascribed the name “UK Branch of the ICTM Study Group of African Musics” but we could invent our own acronym and use this as a subtitle?

8.    What will be the next event, and what are the next steps?

We look forward to seeing you on the 10th December. Please confirm your attendance (VillepastourAV@cardiff.ac.uk) so we can anticipate numbers.

Best wishes from the Interim Committee:

Peter Cooke, Trevor Wiggins, Sara McGuinness, Zé Kouyaté, Amanda Villepastour.

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