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Music, Media and Culture lecture series underway

The Music, Media and Place Research Centre's (MMaP) 2012-13 lecture series kicks off next week.

On Monday, Sept. 24, Dr. Benjamin Brinner of the University of California at Berkeley, will present Perspectives on the "Inter" in Intercultural: Israeli/Arab/Palestinian/Jewish Musical Collaborations.

The lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the MMaP Gallery, second floor, St. John's Arts and Culture Centre, with refreshments provided. The event is free and open to all.

Drawing on and extending the analyses in his recent book, Playing Across a Divide: Israeli-Palestinian Musical Encounters, Dr. Brinner will speak about the understandings that musicians create in joint musical explorations that venture into terrain that has no clear cultural underpinning, yet is enmeshed in several socio-cultural worlds. These worlds differ in their assumptions about music, aesthetics, professionalism and the political uses of art. How then do musicians working together on intercultural projects navigate these differences? Where are their obstacles and points of friction? What are the synergies that emerge from their collaborations? Focusing on the Bustan Quartet and its precursor, Bustan Abraham, this lecture follows a 20-year arc in the lives of some of Israel's leading creators and performers of "world music."

Dr. Brinner is chair of the Department of Music at the University of California at Berkeley, where he holds the Henry and Julia Weisman Schutt chair in music. Trained in ethnomusicology – he earned his BA at Hebrew University in 1977; his MA and PhD at University of California at Berkeley in 1979 and 1985, respectively – he has conducted research in Indonesia (in Central Java and Bali) since 1982 and in Israel since 1988. His particular interests are musical competence and interaction, the subjects of his 1995 book Knowing Music, Making Music: Javanese Gamelan and the Theory of Competence and Interaction, the relationship between composition, improvisation and hybrid musical forms and musical cognition (especially expert memory for music, the subject of an ongoing research project in Java and Bali). In addition to these books he has authored Music in Central Java, in the global music series published by Oxford University Press, as well as articles in scholarly journals and the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

Dr. Brinner was awarded a Fulbright Hayes Doctoral Research Fellowship in 1982, a Fulbright Faculty Research Abroad fellowship in1995, the Deems Taylor prize in 1996 for Knowing Music, Making Music, and the Alan P. Merriam Prize in 2010 for Playing Across a Divide. He performs Javanese gamelan and co-directs University of California at Berkeley's Gamelan Sari Raras. Prior to joining the faculty at University of California at Berkeley he taught in Israel at Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University and Jerusalem Music Center.