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Experimental music based on concepts from African traditions: new directions in composition, pedagogy and technology 
Lukas Ligeti (University of Pretoria)
Mark Stone (Oakland University)
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Arts and Culture (x) Decoloniality & Knowledge Production (y)
Neues Seminargebäude, Seminarraum 24
Thursday 1 June, -, Friday 2 June, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

The panel will explore how composition and ethnomusicology can join forces to further the potential of new/experimental music creation based on concepts from African music traditions, also in regards to cultural and performance studies, music cognition, and technological innovation.

Long Abstract:

In academia, experimental/new music composition is taught almost exclusively based on western music theories and practices; African music is studied through ethnomusicology. The potential of African musical concepts as a foundation for creative innovations is largely disregarded. The presenters of this panel are working towards changing this through their artistic, research, and pedagogical activities. Lukas Ligeti (Extraordinary Professor, University of Pretoria), who has been composing African-based new music in collaboration with musicians throughout the continent for almost 30 years, will discuss his approach, experimental intercultural collaboration, present a work for his ensemble Burkina Electric and symphony orchestra, and explain innovations such as Improvisation through Cross-Adaptive Data Processing, a new electronic-music performance practice inspired by African notions of embodiment in music and dance, as well as describing curricular ideas for composition studies building on ethnomathematics and African traditional pedagogies. Mellitus Wanyama (Founding Dean of Music at Kabarak University, Kenya) will present integrations of African traditional elements into songwriting and music production. Mark Stone (Professor of Music at Oakland University, Michigan) will demonstrate compositional innovations in the work of the late Ghanaian gyil virtuoso Bernard Woma. Onche Rajesh Ugbabe (University of Ghana) will analyze how elements of Nigerian and Ghanaian traditions are reflected in works of "African Pianism", and how they may contribute to a theoretical framework for a new "African Symphonism". Beyond future music creation and teaching in Africa, these perspectives also have ramifications for cultural studies, heritage preservation, cognitive science, the development of new music software, and interdisciplinary/intermedia art.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 1 June, 2023, -
Session 2 Friday 2 June, 2023, -