Sunday, March 18

40 Years… And still rockin’

Famed musicians gather to honor the 40th anniversary of the ethnomusicology archive


  Courtesy of Timothy Rice The Music of Bali Ensemble, a
part of UCLA’s ethnomusicology department, will perform in a free
concert, "A Celebration of World Music at UCLA" on Nov. 9.

By Anthony Bromberg

Daily Bruin Reporter

Saturday night the ethnomusicology department here at UCLA is
putting on a concert, which will feature an exciting, eclectic mix
of world music artists. Featured musicians will range from the
likes of famed jazz guitarist Kenny Burell to Shujaat Khan, one of
the world’s most respected sitar players.

“The concert is gonna be fantastic. It’s called a
“˜Celebration of World Music,’ and that’s exactly
what it’s gonna be,” said Louise Spear, an archivist at
the UCLA ethnomusicology archive.

  Courtesy of Timothy Rice The UCLA department of
ethnomusicology’s Music of Korea Ensemble performs in "A
Celebration of World Music at UCLA" on Nov. 9 at Shoenberg Hall. As
a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the founding of
UCLA’s ethnomusicology archive, the department will be
holding a symposium this Friday and Saturday, culminating with
Saturday night’s concert. The whole program is going to be
both free and open to the public.

In addition to the concert, the symposium will hold a number of
talks introducing new and significant papers regarding both the
importance of archiving and ethnomusicology as a discipline in
relation to the technologically and culturally volatile world.

The topics will touch upon specific issues relating to the 21st
century, such as “The Hip Hop Archive: Finding the
“˜Real’ in Urban Youth Culture” and “The
Future of Audiovisual Source Material: Threats of Loss, and
Strategies to Keep What We have Collected So Far.”

Another fun and interesting part of the symposium should be a
roundtable discussion, dubbed “Memories and Recollections
About the Ethnomusicology Archive.” It will include past
students and faculty from the last four decades and give them a
chance to share about the archive and their experiences, which
should reflect the archive catalog’s aim at being enjoyable
for its users, according to Spear.

The concert is going to be a two-part affair.

  Courtesy of the Ethnomusicology Archive Ethnomusicology
doctoral candidate Jonathan Ritter filming the group Waylla Ichu de
Huancapi on the Waswantu plateau, south-central Ayacucho, Peru.

“We’re going to have Korean, Chinese, Bulgarian
music. We’re gonna have Arab music. We’re gonna have
music from Bali, and that’s just the first half of the
concert,” said Timothy Rice, the chair of the UCLA
ethnomusicology department.

The second half is going to be centered around the musical
styles of jazz and fusion.

“Another thing that’s going to be really exciting
about this concert, is that some of these people from different
musical influences are going to perform together and
improvise,” Spear said.

Highlights of the concert are expected to include a playing of
some of jazz innovator Don Ellis’ material, which is one of
the archive’s most recent deposits, and performances by many
faculty members, who are among the most outstanding people in their
traditions in the world, according to Rice.

Featured prominently in the celebration will be Mantel Hood.

  Courtesy of the Ethnomusicology Archive Ethnomusicologist
Kevin Delgado and musician Moises
play bell patterns using a bell and a guataca in
Cuba. “He’s the founder. He’s the star, we
wouldn’t be here without him,” said Jacqueline Cogdell
DjeDje, the director of the archive, and coordinator of the
symposium planning committee.

Hood founded the ethnomusicology department here in 1960, while
Ann Briegleb Schuursma, a librarian who will also be present,
started the archive a year later.

Since 1960 the department has grown to become one of the largest
and most important places in the United States that covers the
study of world music. It is a unique program because Hood felt that
students should learn not only to understand the music
intellectually, but also to perform.

“Everyone’s welcome to participate, you don’t
have to be a musician,” said John Vallier, a graduate student
and employee at the archive.

An interest in the ethnomusicology department and classes is by
no means restricted to people who are solely concentrating in that
discipline. Rather, the idea that music impacts life is important
and the department makes it available to everyone.

“We teach a lot of very popular G.E. courses. I think
intellectually the basis of these courses is that music is a major
part of social life and culture,” Rice said.

The archive itself is located on the first floor of Schoenberg
Hall, and while the material is non-circulating, it is available to
listen to. The archive is full of sounds, which are characterized
by its collections of things such as old 78 rpm records, 8-track
tapes, and recently even some CDs, all of which makes up an
abundance of both field and commercial recordings.

It is also very unique, in that many of the deposits were made
by students who went and found these sounds in the field, and
includes other types of unpublished music that may not be available
anywhere else. Moreover, the archive is a collection of world music
ranging from Bali to Bulgaria, but it does not include general
popular music or classical European music, since that can assumably
be found anywhere.

“I think it’s important that our holdings are
inclusive. So that if you’re looking for something from
Timbuktu you can probably find it,” DjeDje said. “We
have those precious items you can’t necessarily find anywhere

“The fact that we have so many recordings from around the
world, people don’t realize what we have here,” Vallier
said. “If they have an interest in a particular part of the
world they should just come in and ask “¦ Music can do a lot
to inform them of the culture.”

The sounds of the ethnomusicology archive are available on the
Orion system, and all of the playback material needed is available
at the archive itself.

The symposium will embrace the diverse purposes of UCLA’s
ethnomusicology department and archive, while keeping one eye open
for the future of archiving cataloging and preservation, and the
other turned toward its rich past.

“It’s going to be an exciting celebration of the
intellectual history of the department, as well as the performance
history,” Rice said.

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