Sunday, December 15, 2013

'Dr. Ephraim Amu (1899-1995) and Notation-based Music in Africa' February 21-22, 2014, Hosted by The New England Conservatory and Tufts University

Dr. Ephraim Amu (1899-1995)

Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus, Department of Ethnomusicology, The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.  She forwards this program:

First International Conference on

Notation-based Music in Africa

February 21-22, 2014

Hosted by:
The New England Conservatory and Tufts University

Keynote speakers:
Prof. Kofi Agawu (Princeton University)
Prof. Olabode Omojola (Mount Holyoke College)

A symposium and festival celebrating the music of Ghanaian composer, Dr.Ephraim Amu, will be held in Boston, MA beginning Friday morning, February 21 through Saturday evening February 22, 2014. As J.H. Kwabena Nketia notes: “There is no single individual who has influenced the course of the development of art music in contemporary Ghana as much as Dr. Ephraim Amu.”1 The symposium will explore not only Amu’s music, but also music of others who identify as composers on the African continent. Friday activities take place at NEC, with two sessions of papers/presentations
and a late-afternoon panel. 

The following scholars are included in the program events on Friday: Misonu Amu (Dr. Amu’s daughter), Kofi Agawu, James Burns, George W. K. Dor, Robert Labaree, David Locke, Emmanuel Nnamani, and Bode Omojola. These sessions will be followed by an evening concert of African repertoires, including some of the most popular choral works of Amu: Abibrimma (Sons of Africa rise up), Yɛŋ Ara Asasse Ni (This is our land), and Saŋ Bɛfa (Return home for those things that matter most); alongside the traditional genres that influence or accompany these works: Asafo, Bɔbɔbɔ, as well as Adzogbo. 

Featured performers include Nani Abgeli (one of the leading Ghanaian dancers of his generation), the Agbekor Society, (founded by David Locke, directed by Nani Agbeli), and choirs from both Tufts and NEC. 

On Saturday, the two workshops at Tufts University explore Dr. Amu's choral music and traditional Ewe ritual music for percussion and dance. Misonu Amu, musicologist and daughter of Amu, will lead the choral workshop focused on her father’s music, and Nani Agbeli will lead the workshop on traditional drumming and dance.

The conference is free and open to the public, though we do request that you register at the following site (at the bottom of the “Home” page):

Program Committee: Felicia Sandler, NEC (Conference chair); Robert Labaree, NEC; David Locke, Tufts; Olabode Omojola, Mt. Holyoke; Katarina Miljkovic, NEC; John MacDonald, Tufts; Rick Feit, NEC; Anne Hallmark, NEC.

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