SOAS University of London

SOAS Music Department hosts online research seminar

6 June 2020

On May 27th 2020, 4-6pm UK time, the Department of Music hosted its first ever 'virtual' postgraduate research seminar. The theme of the event was 'Filming (Music) in the Field: From Filming Strategies to Ethnographic Experience', and was organised by Music Department PhD candidates Lorenzo Chiarofonte, Kirit Singh and Martin Cradick. 

SOAS Music Department virtual seminar on fieldwork, 27th May 2020

The event was a great success, with over 60 people attending the live stream from all over the world. The seminar addressed some central aspects that all researchers encounter when filming music and performances in the field. SOAS postgraduate students Lorenzo Chiarofonte, Martin Cradick and Kirit Singh discussed the filming strategies they have adopted in their respective fields of Burma (Myanmar), Cameroon and the Punjab region of North India. The seminar feed was recorded, and the full video can be viewed on YouTube.

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Music Department online research seminar

About the seminar organisers:

Lorenzo Chiarofonte is currently completing his PhD on hsaing waing music and dance in possession cult ceremonies in Burma (Myanmar). He has spent long research stays in the field, filming in crowded and turbulent ritual performances. His research work is based on the analysis of the interactions between musicians/dancers, and sound/movements. 

For the last 28 years Martin Cradick has been regularly visiting a group of Baka Forest People in Cameroon near the border with Congo. He has many years experience of filming in the rainforest far away from mains electricity. Recently he has been making immersive 360º films of traditional music and dance.

Kirit Singh is currently undertaking his PhD on Hindustani music and the Gurbani Kirtan tradition in colonial Punjab. He has utilised crowdfunding and community engagement to support his fieldwork costs and raise awareness of his research work through various social media channels (The Mardana Project). As part of this process he is also working on a short film highlighting the colonial impact on Sikh musical tradition.