WEDNESDAY, JULY 13, 5:45 - 7:00 PM
Charlotte VIGNAU (Netherlands). The Alphorn. 52 minutes.
This video-film deals with issues of nationalism, migration and globalization, addressed through the phenomenon of the alphorn and its uses. The film first investigates "Swiss" aspects of alphorn-practice as well as distinctions within Switzerland between alphorn playing that is "official-Swiss, "creative-Swiss," "playing like in the Alps" or in the cities, and creating a "Swiss sound." The film then follows the migration of the alphorn phenomenon to the Netherlands, the Allgäu region (Germany) and Japan (Honshu island, where Tokyo and Osaka are situated). In all three cases alphorn-practice started to incorporate specific local as well as Swiss aspects.
Stephen SHEARON (USA). "I'll Keep On Singing": The Southern Gospel Convention Tradition. 55 minutes.
The contemporary southern U.S. gospel convention tradition is a tradition of amateur Christian music-making that developed in rural America following the Civil War (i.e., after 1865). It continued and eventually displaced in popularity the shape-note sacred music tradition that flourished prior to the Civil War (known by many today as the Sacred Harp tradition). Gospel convention music is written in a later, more-popular musical style, employs seven-shape notation, and uses instrumental accompaniment - in particular stride piano. Professional southern gospel music developed from it during the 20th century while amateur activity declined. Southern gospel convention singers today live generally in an arc running from West Virginia south and west to Texas. The documentary includes sections on convention singing, use of this music in churches, and connections with professional southern gospel, singing schools, and other aspects.
FRIDAY, JULY 15, 5:45 - 7:00 PM
LIU Guiteng (China). The Drum Language: Ominan Ritual Music of Daur Ethnic Minority Shaman. 60 minutes.
Ominan is a ritual through which Daur shamans advance in their ranks. Shamans throughout the Hulunbuir Grassland (northeastern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China) wear divine hats decorated with antlers, whose numbers represent the rank of the shaman. The ritual is usually performed for three days during which a shaman proves his ability to communicate with the spiritual world. At the same time Ominan is also a divine banquet when clansmen gather together to sing, dance and offer sacrifices to thank their gods, therefore intensively reflecting Ominan Shaman music's functions of epic narrating and creating a ritual atmosphere. This movie is the first documentary ever to study Daur Shaman ritual music from an ethnomusicological perspective. As an episode of the Chinese Shaman Ritual Music Study Series, this documentary was filmed during an actual Ominan ritual performed by Reverend Esiqinga, the most famous shaman, including records of divine songs, musical instruments, as well as the ritual process.
SUNDAY, JULY 17, 10:30 AM - 12:00 NOON
Aaron CARTER-COHN(USA). At Home with Music: Burundian Refugees in América. 20 minutes.
In San Antonio, you will find world music in an unlikely place: a mid-sized Episcopal church that hosts an annual World Refugee Day event that routinely attracts over 1000 people. Out of this event emerged a Pentecostal congregation of Burundian refugees who fled their country during the civil war of 1992 and who needed facilities where they could make music. Burundi is known for drumming, but you will not find amashako, ibishikiso, or ikiranya drums here. Amongst the Burundian refugees in San Antonio, electric bass and guitar or MIDI disks are the choice accompaniments. The only remnants of tradition are the singing and dancing that is integral to music in Africa. Spanning a year, the film highlights acquisitions of new instruments and equipment, hitherto unavailable, demonstrating how new tools change music and dance practice. Interviews are conducted in French; singing is in Kirundi, Swahili and other African languages; English subtitles are included.
NGUYEN Thuy Tien (Vietnam). Vietnamese Hiphop in a Dialogue With the Past. 20 minutes
In Vietnam, hiphop was imported during the 1990s and quickly attracted a massive student community, despite the indifference of state institutions and attempts at suppression by the parents. At the beginning, hiphop was completely imitative of other models but by 2000, with an experiment based on xam background music, the hiphop youth began returning to their roots. The hiphop community and musical researchers started a dialogue about traditional music as it bridges generations. The project is primarily based on three genres representing three regions of Vietnam: Ca trù of the North, Central Highlands' gong and Southern Tài tu music.
MONDAY, JULY 18, 8:30 - 9:30 AM
Enrique Cámara de LANDA (Spain). Non morirà mai: el tango italiano en cuatro movimientos. Buenos Aires, centro feca, 2010. 74 mins
The history of the Italian tango is tackled in this video. The historical phases of this musical and dance genre (reception, songs during the fascist, liscio, and postmodern periods) are narrated here in Spanish language, and many documents are shown to illustrate the information provided.
MONDAY, JULY 18, 3:30 - 5:30 PM
Sandrine Loncke (France). Dance with the Wodaabes. 90 minutes
In the heart of the Nigerien Sahel, far off the beaten "asphalt" track, thousands of Fulbe Wodaabe nomads come together every year for a vast ceremonial gathering named the geerewol. For seven full days and nights, following the solar cycle, two lineages are opposed in a genuine ritual war, with for only weapons song and dance.The stakes of war, the clear challenge: stealing women.The ultimate purpose: to break in peace after having mutually expressed recognition of cultural conformity. For the Wodaabes, this is a gathering where community links are woven. A result of ten years' research and friendship, the film is based on an active dialogical relationship with the ritual's protagonists who chose to disclose the deep meaning of this tradition to us, since the ecological crisis striking Sahel makes such gatherings less and less likely in the future.
MONDAY, JULY 18, 5:45 - 7:00 PM
Timothy RICE (USA). May It Fill Your Soul. 55 minutes
This documentary film concerns two outstanding Bulgarian traditional musicians who immigrated to the United States in 2001: Ivan Varimezov, a player of the bagpipe (gaida), and his wife Tzvetanka, a singer, player of the plucked lute (tambura), and director of women's choirs. The film documents their trajectory of success and struggle, joy and pain, nostalgia and hope. From a European point of view the main theme of this film is emigration. Since Bulgaria emerged from a 45-year period (1944-1989) of Communist-Party rule, it has experienced a huge brain drain as its best and brightest, including outstanding musicians such as the Varimezovs, have sought their fortunes abroad. Those who remain are variously curious, envious, jealous, proud, and scornful of those who have left. Since the Varimezovs are bearers of a musical tradition with strong bonds to their national identity, their leaving is particularly problematic for the nation. From an American point of view, the main theme of this film is immigration. It suggests a set of universal questions with particular answers. Why do people leave their home country? How do they adapt to their new one? Is there an emotional tension or conflict between love of home and hearth and the people they leave behind, on one hand, and the desire or necessity to make a new life in a new country, on the other? How is this tension, which seems inevitable, dealt with practically? Can it ever be resolved or does it even need to be? Can the tension be productive? What is the role of music in mediating these tensions?
TUESDAY, JULY 19, 8:30 - 10:30 AM
Ryan Koons (USA). People of One Fire Continuing a Centuries-Old Tradition: Winter. 40 mins
This film examines two ceremonial gatherings celebrated by Pine Arbor Tribal Town. Located in northern Florida, this Muskogee-Creek Native American community traces an unbroken line of precolonial traditions that include two formerly little-known winter gatherings: the Harvest Busk and the Soup Dance. Scholars such as William Bartram and John Swanton have studied the Creek Green Corn Busk, but never these two winter celebrations. This documentary is therefore an introduction, both to a private Native American community with a rich heritage, and to two of its previously unstudied ceremonies and the accompanying music and dance. Created in conjunction with Pine Arbor, this documentary is based on field research conducted between 2008 and 2010. While discussing the two ceremonies, it details cosmology, functions of music and dance, musically-generated dance, season-specific music, and gender relations.
Patrick ALCEDO (Canada). Panaad: A Promise To The Santo Niño. 18 mins
In the Aklanon language of the Philippines, panaad means a religious promise that has to be fulfilled as long as humanly possible. Through annual participation in the Ati-atihan festival of Kalibo, Aklan, teacher Augusto Diangson, balikbayan (Filipino returnee) Cecile Motus, and businessman Henry Villanueva dance in the streets in order to stay true to the vow they made many years ago to the Santo Niño, the Holy Child Jesus. By transforming themselves into extraordinary beings and willing their performances as acts of prayer, they believe the Santo Niño will continue to descend into their lives not only to reward them with blessings but also to imbue them with a sense of His presence on the ground. The film traces the festival in the lives of these three participants to reveal how they show thanks to and hold steady their belief in the Santo Niño, symbol of the foreign faith they have localized and then choreographed into modernity.
Aaron CARTER-COHN (USA). Texas Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Nigerian Independence. 20 mins
On October 1st, 1960, Nigeria claimed its independence from England. This was more than a declaration of self-government; it was a reclamation of indigenous culture and a statement of cultural freedom. Today, Houston is home to what is widely cited as the largest concentration of Nigerians living in the United States. Various expatriate organizations celebrate Nigerian Independence Day with parties, parades and picnics. 2010 marked the 50th Anniversary for many African nations including Nigeria. This documentary focuses on music and dance in this diasporic and immigrant culture.