On Friday 22nd May 2015, the Music Department hosted the Middle East and Central Asia Music Forum. This forum has been running twice a year since 2007 under the auspices of the Institute of Musical Research, but has recently moved its base to City. The Forum provides a meeting point for students, researchers and others interested in the musics and culture of the Middle East and Central Asia.
The day was a great success with about 70 people in attendance and a lively atmosphere with plenty of positive feedback and stimulating discussion after papers and in between in lunch and coffee breaks. There were 10 speakers altogether, including both research students and academics from across the UK and abroad. Highlights of the day included presentations by two City PhD students, Steve Wilford and Sam Mackay, whose papers were entitled: ‘Between Thames and Sahara: Representations of Algerian Music in Contemporary London’ and ‘A Shared History? North African Musical Heritage and the Public Sphere in Contemporary Marseille’. Other papers covered such diverse topics as female musicians in Afghanistan and Kuwaiti ṣaut music.
The main conference was followed by a book launch for Laudan Nooshin’s recently published Iranian Classical Music: The Discourses and Practice of Creativity (2015, Ashgate Press) and an evening concert which opened the City Summer Sounds Music Festival: ‘Sounds of the Bosphorous Today’ with sisters Neva and Yelda Özgen from Istanbul playing traditional and contemporary pieces on kemençe (bowed fiddle) and ‘cello.
Abstracts and biographies of speakers can be downloaded here: http://www.city.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/266640/Abstracts-and-biographies-for-the-Middle-East-and-Central-Asia-Music-Forum,-Friday-22nd-May-2015,-City-University-London.pdf
More details on the concert: http://www.city.ac.uk/events/2015/may/sounds-of-the-bosphorus-today
More details on Laudan’s book: http://www.ashgate.com/default.aspx?page=637&calcTitle=1&pageSubject=310&title_id=3314&edition_id=3393
More details on the day: http://www.city.ac.uk/events/2015/may/middle-east-and-central-asia-music-forum