Recent Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Music Events at City

The second half of October saw a series of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean music events in the Music Department at City University, starting on Monday 21st October when we welcomed Professor Rachel Beckles Willson from Royal Holloway, University of London, to lead a Turkish makam workshop with second and third BMus students taking the Music Traditions of the Middle East module.

This was followed on Tuesday 22nd October by a concert – part of the Inside Out Festival – of music from the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East with Kalia Baklitzanaki on voice, nay and naval, Jon Banks on kanoun, Ruth Goller on double bass and percussionist Vasillis Sarikis on riq, darbuka, frame drum and cajon. The band performed a range of pieces including both traditional songs, some collected by Kalia during her travels and from her native Crete, and original material.

Also part of the Inside Out Festival was the half-day conference on Wednesday 23rd October focused on Middle Eastern music in the urban UK and featuring a number of speakers and performers. The event was organised by City PhD student Miranda Crowdus and included a presentation by another PhD student, Seth Ayyaz. The afternoon ended with a performance of Iraqi-Jewish music by Sara Manasseh and Keith Clouston (see separate blog entry).

Finally, on Saturday 26th October, City lecturer Laudan Nooshin presented a talk in the beautiful setting of the Mosaic rooms in Kensington, part of both the Inside Out Festival and the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s annual Nour Festival of Middle Eastern and North African arts and culture. The panel was entitled “Iran: An Overview of Classical and Popular Musical Developments” and included 3 speakers talking about different aspects of contemporary music in Iran. Laudan’s talk was about experimental practices among young Iranian musicians.