Spanish and Portuguese Colloquium: Mike Silvers – “Brazilian Carnauba Wax at the Dawn of Recorded Sound”

Thursday, September 15 (4 PM, Lucy Ellis Lounge – FLB 1080)
Mike Silvers (Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, UIUC) 

Brazilian Carnauba Wax at the Dawn of Recorded Sound 

Music scholars have, in recent years, begun investigating the sustainability of natural materials used in the construction of musical instruments and other music technologies. In this talk, I narrate a commodity biography of carnauba wax from northeastern Brazil as it was used in the fabrication of wax cylinders and 78 RPM records in the early years of sound reproduction. I suggest the story of the exploitation of (sustainably grown) natural resources for mass-produced music technologies is one of labor and trade relationships within the Brazilian Northeast and, above all, between the Global North and the Global South.
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Putu Hiranmayena: Best student paper at ICTM Study Group on the Performing Arts of Southeast Asia meeting

Congratulations to musicology doctoral student Putu Hiranmayena for being awarded the best student paper at the 4th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on the Performing Arts of Southeast Asia! See the abstract below.

“Putting the “game” in Gamelan: Improvising Gamelan as Praxis in Public Charter Schools

For the past seventeen years, the Museum School of San Diego has incorporated Balinese gamelan into their core curriculum. In 1999, Dr. Alex Khalil and the late Robert E. Brown of the Center for World Music, designed courses for students in America to experience music as children do in Bali: within their daily lives. The school has housed gamelan angklung, gender wayang, gong kebyar, and occasionally “tarian” or dance. Guest artists such as I Nyoman Wenten (CalArts) and I Made Lasmawan (Colorado College) have participated in residencies at the museum school among other established artists. While students learn gamelan by the traditional “maguru panggul” or teaching through the mallet, teachers have utilized other methods to accommodate the diverse learning styles. I began as instructor in fall of 2013 and have employed improvisatory methods (Conduction) in search of a way to engage kindergarteners through game, not as a critique to traditional methods but as augmentation of such practices. This paper discusses the utilization of shared experiences across established cultural processes as the conduit for artistic praxis and preservation of creative agency. I argue that improvisatory “games” in the context of American kids gamelan not only stimulate creativity, but offer students a multi-sensorial experience that equips them with tools for which the pedagogical methods of gamelan are based upon. In doing so, I hope to highlight problems with my own positionality and advocate for improvisation in classrooms, as byproducts of cross-cultural contact.

Pradhanica Residency at Illinois

The School of Music is happy to welcome the ensemble Pradhanica for their residency 31 January-2 February. Experts in Kathak dance and Hindustani music, the members of the group have each taken a unique path to finding their voice in Indian music. We look forward to attending their concerts and workshops, and to working with them in our classes!

6x4 Pradhanica Photo Credit Matt Marquez.jpg

Pradhanica residency schedule

Sunday, 31 January

Event Time Event Location
4-5.30 pm Introduction to Kathak and Pradhanica.” Demonstration/Workshop open to the public. McKinley Presbyterian Church (809 South 5th St, Champaign 61820)


Monday, 1 February

Event Time Event Location

9-10.45 am

Kathak masterclass for dance students.  Limited spaces for non-dance majors available. Contact Dr. Macklin ( if interested.

Krannert Dance Studio (DRK), 2nd floor of Krannert Center for Performing Arts

10-10.50 am Members join MUS 167, Improvisation II. Other students and faculty welcome to join- contact Dr. Macklin if interested.  Smith Memorial Room (Smith 220)



Tuesday, 2 February

Event Time Event Location
7.30-9.30 pm Concert. Open to the public. Smith Recital Hall (Smith 114)


This residency is made possible by support from the following units

Frances P. Rohlen Visiting Artists Fund/ College of Fine and Applied Arts

College of Fine and Applied Arts, Center for World Music

College of Fine and Applied Arts, Department of Dance

School of Music, Divisions of Musicology, Music Education, Wind, Brass & Percussion, and Jazz Studies

School of Music, University of Illinois Annual Fund

College of Liberal Arts, Center for South Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (CSAMES)

University of Illinois SPICMACAY


Professor Gabriel Solis awarded NEH Fellowship

Congratulations to Professor Gabriel Solis for being awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for his book project, “Music, Race, and Indigeneity in Australia and Papua New Guinea.”

Gabriel Solis 01This book investigates the ongoing history of musical alliances and affiliations between indigenous artists and activists in Australia and Papua New Guinea, and their counterparts in the African Diaspora. Through the media of singing voices and dancing bodies, this project charts the critical ways that indigenous-Diasporic musical intersections have shaped the politics of race and indigeneity for more than a century.

“With these grants, the National Endowment for the Humanities continues its 50-year tradition of supporting excellence in the humanities,” said NEH Chairman William D. Adams. “From scholarly books and humanities programs on college campuses to new digital humanities resources and preservation efforts at local museums, the projects receiving funding today will reach deeply into communities and expand access to our shared cultural heritage.”  

NEH, an independent federal agency that funds high-quality projects in fields such as history, literature, philosophy, and archaeology, awards grants three times a year for top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent, external reviewers. This round of grants supports projects that will strengthen the nation’s cultural fabric and identity. (From

Learn more by visiting the Illinois News Bureau.


Come see UIUC Musicology graduate students and faculty present at the Socitey for Ethnomusicology conference in Austin, Dec. 3-6.


THURSDAY DEC. 3, Session 2

2G Room 416AB

Music and Visibility Politics
*Sponsored by the Latin American and Caribbean Music Section

11:15 “¡Y Ahora! ¿Y Ahora?”: Alibabá in Santo Domingo Carnival and the Emergence of a Performance Genre
Jessica Hajek, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign



THURSDAY DEC. 3, Session 3

3D Room 414

The Politics of Memory

1:45 Armenian Elegies: Commemorative Heritage and the Politics of Remembrance in Bulgaria’s Armenian Diaspora
Donna Buchanan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2:15 Articulating the Ineffable in Pontic Greek Memory: Vioma and Arothymia in Parakathi Singing
Ioannis Tsekouras, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign



THURSDAY DEC. 3, Session 3

3I Room 602

Cartographies of Transmission: Historical Ethnomusicology, Transnationalism, and Musical Labor in the Pacific
*Sponsored by the Historical Ethnomusicology Section

Chair: Gabriel Solis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2:45 Marlene Cummins’s Koori Woman Blues: Racialization, Indigeneity, and Historical Ethnomusicology in the Black Pacific
Gabriel Solis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign



SUNDAY DEC. 6, Session 11

11A Salon D

The “I” in Idol: Musical Fandom and Self-Fashioning

9:00 Fanning the Flames of Stardom: Fans and Idols in Cantonese Opera in Hong Kong since the 1980s
Priscilla Tse, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


From Dec. 3-6 at The Companion Gallery, open from 3-8 pm:

1st SEM Sounding Board

“Dry Signals” (soundscape installation)
Michael Silvers, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


The Bruno and Wanda Nettl Distinguished Lecture: “Music and Citizenship” – Dr. Martin Stokes

Dr. Martin Stokes, King Edward Professor of Music
King’s College London


Citizenship debates – traditionally focused on questions about property, liberty of the person, representation – shifted radically in the 1990s. Globalization pushed questions about ‘flexible citizenship’, about problems of inclusion and exclusion in a world of migrancy, war, and failed states. Feminist and queer movements made questions about sexual rights central to citizenship discourse, and with them the politics of feeling, emotion, and care. Responses to Habermas explored the idea of counter-publics, spaces of citizenly participation involving alternative structures of emotional disclosure and recognition. Preoccupied with matters of identity in the 1990s, ethnomusicology has, arguably, been slow to respond. This lecture looks at the place of music and musicians in constructions of citizenly virtue with four foci: emotion, environment, the body, the public sphere. It springs from questions that I explored in a recent book on Turkish music (The Republic of Love, University of Chicago Press, 2010), but traces the configurations of a more general and more global inquiry from the middle of the twentieth century on.

5:00 PM

Friday, September 4, 2015
Smith Memorial Hall Room 25
805 South Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801

Free and open to the public

Click here for contact information.
Click here to download event poster.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign