Venice Meeting 2007


The Study Group held its 7th Meeting in Venice, hosted by the “Fondazione Ugo e Olga Levi”, in June 28-30, 2007. This was its first reconvening after Tullia Magrini, founder and soul of it, so prematurely passed away in Summer 2005. The Meeting was, therefore, first of all a commemoration of the person who had put so much energy and creativity into the activities of the Study Group, then an occasion to present papers on a Mediterranean theme “Cosmopolitan Cities and Migrant Musics” (thought up by Tullia herself, shortly before she passed away), and also an opportunity for many friends and collegues who closely shared Tullia’s interests to meet again, discuss the future of the Study Group itself, and its web-journal “Music & Anthropology”.

Loris Azzaroni, distinguished music theorist, and Tullia Magrini’s husband, was an essential link in securing the same support and sponsorship which the Fondazione Levi had so far given to by Tullia Magrini, in reason of her collaboration with the Fondazione on a number of other activities. Giulio Cattin, President Emeritus of the Scientific Committee of the Fondazione commemorated Tullia, speaking about her relationship to the Fondazione itself, while Marcello Sorce Keller, remembered her scholarly profile and position within the context of Italian ethnomusicology.

A Keynote address was delivered by Bruno Nettl, “Minorities and Migration in the History of Musical Scholarship”, and the first session was opened by Philip Bohlman with his challenging “Utopia/Heteropia – Music, Migration, and the Metropolitan Imaginary. Other papers followed, by Goffredo Plastino, “Cosmopolitanism and Localization in Contemporary Neapolitan Jazz”, Paola Barzan “Towards and Across the Mediterranean Sea: Migrant Musics in Padua”, Giuliana Fugazzotto, “Musical Tradition and Blending among the Italian Communities in Early Twentieth Century America, Martin Stokes, “Melancholic Cosmopolitanism and Arabesk Crossover in Contemporary Turkey, MArgaret Kartomi, “By the Rivers of Babylon: the Liturgical Music of Babylonian Jews in their Colonial and Post-colonial Diasporas”, Josko Caleta, “From Local and Traditional to Global and Popular: Klapa Singing in Zagreb”, Iain Fenlon “Recuperatine the Soundscape: Other Musics in the Renaissance Venice, Ruth Davis, “From Diaspora to Jerusalem: Broadcasting ‘Oriental’ Music in Mandatory Palestine”. The Chemistry among participants turned out to be excellent, and discussions were just as interesting and provocative as the papers themselves.

On the practical side a few decisions were taken by those who had been with the Study Group since its beginnings, the “founding fathers”, so to say: Marcello Sorce Keller will chair the Study Group and be responsible for the preparation of its next Venetian Meeting, while Ruth Davis kindly accepted to help him and be vice-chair. Before reconvening in Venice, presumably in 2010, however, it is felt the need for intermediate opportunities to meet. That is why a Colloquium of the Study Group will take place in Cambridge, in July 2008, and Ruth Davis will be the organizer and the host of it. It was also decided that Martin Stokes will be the editor of the web-journal “Music and Anthropology”, and has a mandate to reconfigure it, and give it new energy and bite.

During the last World Conference held in Vienna, on July 6, the Study Group also had its business meeting. It was a very informal one at that, in which Marcello Sorce Keller gave information about the recent developments that took place in Venice, then a mailing list of ICTM members interested in the Study Group was made, and the people who were present and had been active in it in the past, also gave further feedback on what directions they thought the Group should follow for the future. In the wake of such inputs, the future looks promising and very busy.

Marcello Sorce Keller, Convener




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