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REF NO.: 74

SUBJECT: Memorial University to explore innovation and tradition in island Acadia music
DATE: Feb. 6, 2013

The third installment of the Research Centre for Music, Media and Place’s (MMaP) 2012-13 Music, Media and Culture Lecture Series will be presented by Memorial University’s Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada post-doctoral fellow in ethnomusicology.
Dr. Meghan Forsyth will speak on the topic of Creative Currents: Innovation and Tradition in Island Acadian Music on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the MMaP Gallery, second floor, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre. Refreshments will be provided; the event is free and open to all.
From new compositions to stylistic flexibility, innovation has emerged as a defining element of contemporary island Acadian musical traditions on and off the public stage. But old and new forms of musical expression hang in a delicate balance, at one and the same time lauded and contested.
Drawing on examples from Prince Edward Island and les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Dr. Forsyth will consider the social and artistic value placed on innovation in contemporary fiddling and Francophone song traditions. She will also posit that global influences and local discourses about tradition and creativity inform how Acadian music is presented locally and to cultural outsiders, such as tourists and festival organisers, and how it reflects musicians’ connections to and expressions of historical memory.
Dr. Forsyth specializes in Acadian instrumental traditions in Eastern Canada and fiddling in the Shetland Isles (U.K.). Her current research examines the role of creativity in traditional music performance, the influence of sound recording on fiddling in les Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Francophone cultural tourism in Eastern Canada.
She is also currently curating a collaborative, multimedia exhibition on traditional Acadian dance and music. Her work on the instrumental traditions of Prince Edward Island and the Shetland Isles has been published in the Journal of the Society for American Music, Shima: The International Journal of Research into Island Cultures and Canadian Folk Music.

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