Dr Lucy Durán
BMus, MMus(London), PhD(London)
Senior Lecturer in African Music
Senior Lecturer in African Music
- Dr Lucy Durán
- Email address:
- 020 7898 4374
- 020 7898 4699
- SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
- Russell Square: College Buildings
- Office No:
- Office Hours:
- Tuesdays 3.15-5.15pm
Lucy Durán (PhD SOAS, BMus MMus King’s College, London) is Senior Lecturer in African music at SOAS. Her main interests are West African music and culture, and her principal field of research is Mande music, which she has been researching on location in Mali, Gambia and Senegal since 1977, with special reference to the jelis (‘griots’), the kora, and women singers. Her research project, ‘Growing into Music in Mali’ resulted in two in-depth films that document the musical progress of children in leading Mande jeli (griot) families in both rural and urban environments in southern Mali and upper Guinea. They are available for viewing online and include unique footage of children learning music in leading griot families, shot by Durán on location in Mali and Guinea between 2009-12.
Durán has a long professional involvement with the music industry, working as music producer, journalist and broadcaster. She was the regular presenter of BBC Radio 3’s flagship world music programme World Routes for the duration of its lifetime on air, 2000-2013. She has produced more sixteen albums, including Segu blue and I speak fula by Malian ngoni player Bassekou Kouyaté (nominated for a Grammy Award in 2010), Kassi Kasse by Kase Mady Diabaté (nominated for a Grammy Award in 2004), and six albums by Grammy award-winning kora player Toumani Diabaté, including the 2014 release, Toumani & Sidiki (World Circuit, 2014) – nominated for a Grammy Award, 2015. She is also project advisor to the Aga Khan Music Initiative (Aga Khan Trust for Culture), for their work on music in Mali.
- Atlantic Africa: (P)Layers of Mediation in African Popular Music (PG)
- Atlantic Africa: (P)Layers of Mediation in African Popular Music (UG)
- Music in the Mande Cultural World
- Music, Place and Politics in Cuba
- Presenting World Music On Radio
- Sounds and Cultures 1: Africa, the Jewish World, West and Central Asia
- The World of Cuban Music
PhD Students supervised
- Crispin Robinson, Technicians of the Sacred: Generating transcendence in Afro-Cuban orisha worship. An ethnography of praxis in bata drumming.
- Hannah Bates,
- Michele Banal, Mapping of professional music making in Bamako.
- Violeta Ruano-Posada, 'Music is the new battlefield': music creativity as a way to address conflict among Saharawi youth.
My research focuses primarily on music from/within the Mande cultural region and its diaspora, and is driven by my interest in promoting better understanding of and safeguarding oral traditions from the region. My outputs have therefore included radio documentaries (BBC Radio 3), film (Growing into Music in Mali) and CDs (various) released through the world music industry, as well as written outputs in both academic and non-academic journals. I am interested in the following topics with reference to the Mande world: gender and music; the role of women singers; songs as story and history; notions of musical mastery; weddings as a locus of performance and contestation; methods of oral transmission; creativity and music production in the recording studio; local forms of 'popular' music; conversations with the blues. In addition, I work on (and teach) the popular music of Cuba, and its ongoing connections across the Atlantic.
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- Special Study Programmes
- Short Term Consultancy
- Long Term Consultancy
Duran, Lucy and Furniss, Graham, eds. (1999) Sunjata, Gambian versions of the Mande epic by Bamba Suso and Banna Kanuteh. London: Penguin.
Duran, Lucy (2006) 'Mali: gold dust by the river.' In: Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark and Lusk, Jon, (eds.), The Rough Guide to World Music. 3rd edition. Africa and the Middle East. London: Penguin, pp. 219-238.
Duran, Lucy (2000) 'Women, music and the ''mystique'' of hunters in Mali.' In: Monson, I, (ed.), The African Diaspora: a musical perspective. Garland Publishing (NY), pp. 137-86.
Duran, Lucy (2013) 'Poyi! Bamana jeli music, Mali, and the blues.' Journal of African Cultural Studies, 25 (2). pp. 211-246.
Duran, Lucy (2011) 'Music production as tool of research, and impact.' Ethnomusicology Forum, 20 (2). pp. 229-232.
Duran, Lucy (2008) 'The kora: tales of a frontier instrument.' World Circuit Records .
Duran, Lucy (2007) 'Ngaraya: Women and Musical Mastery in Mali.' Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 70 (3). pp. 569-602.
Duran, Lucy (2003) 'Mali’s songbird, Oumou Sangaré, & Radio as research.' BBC Radio 3 documentary .
Duran, Lucy (1995) 'Birds of Wasulu: freedom of expression and expressions of freedom in the popular music of southern Mali.' British Journal of Ethnomusicology, 4 . pp. 101-134.
Duran, Lucy (producer) (2009) Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba / I speak Fula. Out Here Records. [Audio]
Duran, Lucy (producer) (2007) Mano Suave: Yasmin Levy. Harmonia Mundi/World Village. [Audio]
Duran, Lucy (producer) (2007) Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba / Segu blue. Out Here Records. [Audio]
Duran, Lucy (producer) (2003) Paraiso de gumbe: Manecas Costa. BBC Late Junction. [Audio]
Duran, Lucy (producer) (2003) Kassi Kasse: music from the heart of Mali’s griot tradition: Kasse Mady Diabate. Discos Corason, EMI Hemisphere. [Audio]
Duran, Lucy (2013) Do farala a kan: something has been added. Growing into music in Mande griot culture. . Available from http://www.growingintomusic.co.uk.
Duran, Lucy (2012) Growing into Music: Childhood music learning in India, Azerbaijan, Mali, Cuba, Venezuela. . Available from http://www.growingintomusic.co.uk.