Session/Séance 8g: IASPM Workshop. Saturday/samedi 27 May 2017. 11:00AM - 12:00PM, EJB Geiger-Torel Room.
Chair: Mary Fogarty (York University)
Belonging Through Drumming in South Sudan
Beau Stocker, University of York, UK
This presentation of a paper with workshop/performance will explain how the translation of South Sudanese rhythm traditions into experimental pop music enables awareness in the international community and enacts a sense of belonging. The diverse communities of South Sudan are currently living in turmoil due to post-independence conflict and the inclusion and exclusion of nomadic people living within imposed boundaries. Assistance from the international community is hoped to be a solution achieved, in part, through increasing awareness of the situation by means of work included in this presentation. In addition, this music perspective has helped to shape my national belonging as a Canadian conducting research in a unique field overseas. The first half of the presentation will include a research paper that discusses current practice based research directly informed by field work conducted in East Africa. Specifically, private study of South Sudanese traditional rhythms, deployed as a cue system for their dance custom, that have been translated into structural elements that inform drum set sound exploration in an experimental pop music setting. Links to the need for a sense of belonging and how this work may increase awareness of this tradition through performances in dance halls and public spaces will be addressed. The second half of the presentation is intended to exemplify this work through a solo performance which explores drum set timbre aided by the use of live electronic devices. Also, three of the South Sudanese rhythms employed in this research will be highlighted before each piece, as comparison to the experimental element of the performance. The by-product of this work is hoped to facilitate awareness of this situation of inclusion/exclusion of national identity and belonging in the world’s newest country, which is hoped to be achieved through the celebration of this music tradition in popular music events in public spaces.
Keywords: drumming, translation, Africa, rhythm, experimental