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Lise Waxer Memorial Lecture: South Indian Music

Oct 24, 2012, 7pm-9pm

"The Performance Practice of Carnatic (South Indian) Music and Its Global Impact"
featuring visiting artist/scholar Dr. K.S. Subramanian and Professor Trichy Sankaran

Ethnomusicologists and South Indian music specialists Dr. K.S. Subramanian and Prof. Trichy Sankaran present an illustrated talk on melody, rhythm and improvisatory structures of traditional South Indian instrumental music. The presentation will include a brief concert by both artists.

Dr. Karaikudi S. Subramanian is one of India's leading vina performers. He has done extensive research on different styles of vina playing and holds a doctoral degree in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University. He has been awarded many international music honors and academic fellowships. He taught for many years at Madras University and went on to become the founding director Brhaddhvani in Chennai, India, a research and training centre for the study of musical traditions from around the world.

Dr. Subramanian is the inagural guest of the Shan and Jaya Chandrasekar Vistiing Artist/Scholar series in the Faculty of Fine Arts, York University.

Prof. Trichy Sankaran, the co-founder of York's Indian music program, is a virtuoso mrdangam player and scholar of South Indian music. He has received numerous honors and awards, including most recently the title of Sangita Kalanidhi from the Music Academy of Madras, in recognition of his eminence in the Carnatic music field. He has published two major textbooks, one on the art of drumming and the other on the art of Konnakkol as well as numerous articles. Through his performances and writing, he has influenced generations of students in the study of Indian drumming.

The Instruments

Vina is one of the ancient stringed instruments of India. The instrument used in the present day dates back to the early 17th century. It has four main strings on which the melody is played that run above 24 fixed metallic frets, and three side strings which are used for keeping the drone as well as rhythm.

Mrdangam, the principal percussion instrument of South India, is a two-headed, barrel-shaped drum. It is used to accompany the classical music and dance of South India and also for playing solos. This highly evolved instrument is capable of a wide variety of sounds. The prominent head is tuned to the tonic, while the other provides a bass tone.

Free admission.

The Lise Waxer Memorial Lecture commemorates musician, ethnomusicologist, author and educator Lise Aerinne Waxer, an alumna of York’s music program who died in 2002. Waxer’s work in ethnomusicology included producing and hosting one of Toronto’s first world music radio programs on CIUT 89.5 FM and conducting fieldwork on salsa music in Colombia.

Lise Waxer studied at York University in the 1980s with Prof. Sankaran, who fondly remembers her passion and interest in Indian music and her brilliance in the field of ethnomusicology.

She was the editor of two books: Situating Salsa: Global Markets and Local Meaning in Latin Popular Music (Routledge 2002) and the authour of The City of Musical Memory: Salsa, Record Grooves, and Popular Culture in Cali, Colombia (Wesleyan University Press 2002), which received the 2003 Alan P. Merriam Prize and the 2003 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for popular music. At the time of her death, she was a faculty member in the Music Department at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

Waxer’s family, friends and colleagues established the Lise Waxer Memorial Lecture in the Department of Music at York University to celebrate her love of the music of all cultures and her joy in sharing that passion with others. 

Location:Martin Family Lounge, 219 Accolade East Building, York University, Keele campus
Sponsor:Department of Music, Faculty of Fine Arts
Posted by:Judy Karacs
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