“Myths, Lies and Truths: The Re-Invention of Ladino Song as Ancient”



October 10, 2016
6:00 pmto8:30 pm
Guy Mendilow Ensemble

Guy Mendilow Ensemble

Public Lecture: October 10, 6:00 pm, 145 Straub Hall, 1451 Onyx Street; “Myths, Lies and Truths: The Re-Invention of Ladino Song as Ancient”

Concert: October 9, 7:30 pm at The Shedd; “Tales from the Forgotten Kingdom”

Class: October 10, 12:00-1:50pm, 30 Pacific, UO campus: “Introduction to Ladino song”

As part of her class on Sephardic Cultures in the UO Clark Honors College, Monique Balbuena (Associate Professor of Literature, Clark Honors College) is bringing the Boston-based international band Guy Mendilow Ensemble, “an award-winning sextet of world-class musicians with members hailing from Israel, Palestine, Argentina, Japan, the UK and the USA.” The band will be here in its trio formation.

Balbuena’s upper-division colloquium focuses on the history, music and literature of Sephardic Jews—Jews who originated in the Iberian Peninsula and went on Diaspora after the 1492 expulsion from Spain. It will discuss the development of Ladino, or vernacular Judeo-Spanish, the Jewish language that formed as a result of the encounter of different varieties of Spanish in the Ottoman Empire. Early in the term Guy Mendilow’s Ensemble will be in residence in Eugene. The musicians will come to town and participate in a series of events.

The concert Tales from the Forgotten Kingdom is a “journey through the Balkans to the Mid-East beginning in Sarajevo and winding through Salonica and Jerusalem. [It]is a sonic adventure masterfully brought to life by the Guy Mendilow Ensemble,” composed of “internationally savvy world musicians [who deliver] a richly textured global experience of haunting beauty.”

The trio will conduct a workshop at the Hebrew school at Temple Beth Israel on Sunday morning, October 9, then perform at the Shedd at 7:30pm that same evening (for which all of UO students will be given discounts). On Monday October 10, at noon, the musicians will give a workshop-type class (which Balbuena will make open) in her colloquium at the Honors College, at 30 Pacific, and in the evening they will give a public talk, free and open to the public. In total, they will offer four full events in two days.

Concert: October 9, 7:30 pm at The Shedd; “Tales from the Forgotten Kingdom”

Tales from the Forgotten Kingdom

Embark on a musical trek to kingdoms long forgotten and bustling towns now vanished. Follow the stories of vagabond queens, pauper poets and lovers lost to the sea, all set to spellbinding arrangements of old Sephardi songs worthy of symphonic lm scores. Wrap these tales up with lush soulful harmonies evoking Flamenco’s gutsiness and the longings of Fado, all combined with heart-pounding percussion and intricate soundscapes.

Journey through the Balkans to the Mid-East beginning in Sarajevo and winding through Salonica and Jerusalem. Tales from the Forgotten Kingdom is a sonic adventure masterfully brought to life by the Guy Mendilow Ensemble, an award-winning sextet of world-class musicians with members hailing from Israel, Palestine, Argentina, Japan, the UK and the USA. This ensemble of internationally savvy world musicians delivers a richly textured global experience of haunting beauty.

Class: October 10, 12:00-1:50pm, 30 Pacific, UO campus: “Introduction to Ladino song”

This interactive, often witty, lecture-demo introduces Ladino song types, history and language. Field recordings from various Ladino communities are presented both as musical examples and as illustrations of the songs’ functions within traditional contexts.
The session zooms out to explore broader performance issues and challenges faced by musicians working with traditional repertoire in general. Topics include:

  • In what ways have traditional Ladino songs adapted to new cultural environments, both historically and in modern times?
  • What are implications for questions of authenticity?
  • What roles, responsibilities and obstacles do performing artists have when working with traditional material?

Demonstrations from members of the award-winning Guy Mendilow Ensemble and samples of other artists’ interpretations provide an entry-point into a discussion of the tension between preservation and change within a tradition.

Public Lecture: October 10, 6:00 pm, 145 Straub Hall, 1451 Onyx Street; “Myths, Lies and Truths: The Re-Invention of Ladino Song as Ancient”

MYTHS, LIES & TRUTHS:
THE RE-INVENTION OF LADINO SONG AS ANCIENT
How is it that songs from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries came to be seen as Medieval? Who gains, and who loses, when traditional music is taken beyond its native contexts? Through field recordings from Ladino communities in the Balkans and Mediterranean, as well as live performance from the award-winning Guy Mendilow Ensemble, this lecture traces the romanticization of Ladino song and its adaptation amidst new technologies, modernization, and war. Topics include:

  • How would have these songs sounded in their traditional contexts? Who sung them, and why?
  • In what ways have traditional Ladino songs adapted to new cultural environments, especially in the first half of the twentieth century?
  • What are artists’ responsibilities and rights when working with traditional material?
  • How can audiences be more discerning and avoid marketing traps?

The Guy Mendilow Ensemble is presented by the UO Clark Honors College and The Shedd Institute for the Arts, with additional support from the Oregon Humanities Center’s Endowment for Public Outreach in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities; Temple Beth Israel; the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs; The Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies; Oregon Hillel, and the Global Studies Institute.

Monday, June 27th, 2016 Academic Courses, Art, Music & Culture, Events



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