News Release

REF NO.: 217

SUBJECT: Memorial University officially launches international traditional music conference on St. John’s campus

DATE: June 14, 2011

Memorial University’s Research Centre for Music, Media and Place (MMaP) along with the School of Music today launched the 2011 World Conference for the International Council of Traditional Music conference and concurrent music festival SOUNDshift.
            It is the 41st incarnation of the world conference and the first time it will be held in Canada since 1961. More than 500 delegates from 60 countries will be at Memorial to take part in panel discussions, concerts, workshops and scholarly presentations. The musical blockbuster event takes place July 13-19 on the St. John’s campus.
            The official launch, which saw Memorial President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Gary Kachanoski offer his greetings and good wishes to organizers and participants, took place at the MMaP gallery on the second floor of the Arts and Culture Centre in St. John’s.
            “Memorial University is honoured to be hosting the International Council of Traditional Music this year,” said Dr. Kachanoski. “The council’s decision to meet here recognizes the strength of folklore and traditional music in Newfoundland and Labrador. As a recent newcomer to the province, I have been so impressed by the richness of the culture here. This is the ideal place to hold a conference that celebrates traditional music.”
            The 2011 ICTM conference will be touching down in venues on the St. John’s campus for seven electric days, bringing a kaleidoscope of singers, instrumentalists, dancers and scholars of international calibre with it. A biennial event, the world conference is the leading global venue for the presentation of new research in music and dance.
            “This incredibly diverse group of academics will present research on themes that range from Atlantic roots/routes to acoustic ecology, from voices to vuvuzuelas,” said Dr. Beverley Diamond, conference co-chair and the Canada Research Chair in Traditional Music (ethnomusicology) at Memorial University.         
            “Three plenaries will be open to the public free of charge, including a keynote by Dr. Michelle Bigenho on The Intimate Distance of Indigenous Modernities and a panel (with UNESCO participation) reflecting on the impact of the 2003 Convention on for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.”
            Music and movement researchers from places as far away as Brazil, Turkey, Zimbabwe and Papua New Guinea and as close as Memorial’s own resident faculty members and graduate students will immerse themselves in the discussion and exploration of traditional music and dance. Members of the public are also welcome to register for an array of daytime presentations and workshops.
            And if that’s not enough to whet local – and visiting – music connoisseurs’ appetites, ICTM is opening its doors and inviting everyone to experience a festival featuring the finest in music and dance from this province, Canada and beyond.
            Concurrently, SOUNDshift: A Time for International Music and Dance, will take place on three separate evenings at the Arts and Culture Centre throughout the week, and will showcase three specially-themed concerts. 
            “The Atlantic Roots show on July 15 has a very exciting lineup, featuring Newfoundland's own Crowd of Bold Sharemen and music from England, Ireland, Portugal and Cuba,” said Jean Hewson, artistic director of SOUNDshift. “Claude Mackenzie of the legendary Innu band Kashtin will no doubt be a highlight of the Indigenous Now! concert on July 17, and last but not least, our Canada’s Many Voices show will highlight the cultural diversity of our country, showcasing everything from taiko drumming to Quebecois accordion music.”
            To view the ICTM website and review the conference’s preliminary program, please visit www.mun.ca/ictm2011/. For more information regarding SOUNDshift, please visit www.soundshift.ca.

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