Saturday, October 25, 2008

An embarrassment of riches at SEM 2008: which culture to examine this morning?

Good morning. My dilemma is this: Which of at least four different panels should I try to attend:

1) YouTube: The Sites and Sounds of Viral Video
2) Music from Turkey in the Diaspora
3: Islam and Music in Indonesia I
4) What Makes it National? Popular Music and National Movements in the Middle East and Central Asia

These are only four of the eleven concurrent panels, but I think their topics may be of interest to my audience, as well as directly to me, with my own involvment in music of the Islamic world (an area addressed by three of the four panels . . . )

Because this is an academic conference, and the ideas in the papers presented (or the oral presentations made from notes) have not yet been published, I hesitate to go into much detail on these particular presentations without getting the permission of the authors. So let this just be a quick glimpse of a few items in the first course menu in the morning musical feast (8:30-10:00 am), with more details to come as I obtain the appropriate authorial clearances

But let me just end with my exhilaration at viewing the presentation of the final paper in the YouTube panel--with demonstrations of a few of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of videos of contemporary "viral" dance videos--those having millions of hits--that are an extraordinary demonstration of the dynamism and boundless energy of the global youth culture! Even better than my morning caffeine. . . .

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