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PMC Lecture: Relationships among musicians, their instruments and communities
October 24, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pmFree
RELATIONSHIPS AMONG MUSICIANS, THEIR INSTRUMENTS AND COMMUNITIES: INSIGHTS FROM THE BUSOGA TRUMPETS MUSIC REVITALIZATION PROJECT IN UGANDA
James Isabirye, lecturer of music and drama, Kyambogo University, Kampala, Uganda
Dr. Isabirye’s research interests include indigenous models of music education, and the revival of indigenous musical practices. He has worked with communities in the Busoga Kingdom of Uganda to revive Bigwala (gourd trumpet ensemble) music and dance, as well as the Entenga royal drums of the Buganda Kingdom.
From Dr. Isabirye:
During the years 2015 to 2017, I was a participant observer of the bigwala—gourd trumpets royal music tradition revitalization project of the Busoga kingdom. The project aimed to save this tradition from extinction as only two master musicians were still alive in a kingdom of about four million people. Basoga communities engaged in meetings in their villages to teach youths how to farm gourds that are used to make the instruments, to make, play, and dance to bigwala.
These interactive social engagements engendered relationships among musicians, with the bigwala instruments, and their communities. Engagements of Musicking (Small, 1998) such as these are contexts for enormously complex relationships blossom, and they can be places of meaning making. Also Musicking that involves playing of musical instruments transforms them from being merely sound producing objects into significantly influential actors—perhaps
equivalent to humans—in a socio-musical interactive context of meaning making. This lecture focuses on the nature of the interactions, emergent relationships, and their meanings, and implications to the bigwala, their musicians, and the Busoga kingdom communities.