The Bake/Jairazbhoy Digital Archive of South Asian Traditional Music and Arts

Wed 5/22/2024 • 1PM PDT

Schoenberg Music Building 1230 (Green Room)

The UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive in partnership with the UCLA Digital Library Program is thrilled to announce the launch of the Bake / Jairazbhoy Digital Archive of South Asian Traditional Music and Arts.

Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy (Founding Chair of the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology) and Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy visited 8 states in India, recording tribal, folk, devotional, and classical musics. Their research was designed to supplement Arnold Adriaan Bake's surveys of Indian music throughout the South Asian subcontinent (Bengal, (West Bengal and Bangladesh), Nepal, Tamilnadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Sindh (Pakistan)). These audiovisual recordings and still images, plus audio field recordings made by Bake in India on a Tefiphon (a machine that cuts grooves on loops of 35mm film), are now available online, open access.

Speakers (in alphabetical order):

Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy will give an audiovisual presentation concerning a methodology Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy and she devised in 1984 in Tamilnadu, Kerala, and Karnataka, to restudy and repatriate to Mother India audiovisual materials created as “a survey of religious songs and music” throughout South Asia in 1938-1939 by the Dutch ethnomusicologist Arnold Adriaan Bake (1899-1963).

Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy’s research, writing, teaching, curatorial activities, and multi-media publications often have an applied focus, aimed at community development of minority traditions, especially in diasporic settings. She served as curator and presented the first concert and lecture tour outside India with a group of African-Indian Sidi performers from Gujarat, in September 2002, traveling with them in England and Wales. Her recent publications include Sidi Sufis: African Indian Mystics of Gujarat (Apsara Media 2002: 79-minute CD), the volume co-edited with Indian Ocean historian Edward Alpers, Sidis and Scholars: Essays on African Indians (New Delhi: Rainbow Publications, 2003), the DVD The Sidi Malunga Project (2004), the DVD From Africa to India: Sidi Music in the Indian Ocean Diaspora (with Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy) (2003), and Music for a Goddess (with Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy) (2008), an interactive DVD of 175 minutes, including Bonus Tracks, on professional musicians dedicated to the Goddess Renuka-Yellamma in southern Maharashtra and northern Karnataka.

Elizabeth McAulay will talk about the importance of bringing research and archival materials to students, creators, and researchers, and the power of connecting through the UCLA Digital Library Program.

Elizabeth (Lisa) McAulay directs the UCLA Library Digital Library Program, which makes rare and unique cultural heritage materials available online in searchable and browseable websites. These websites include the UCLA Library Digital Collections, the Modern Endangered Archives Program, the International Digital Ephemera Project, the Frontera Collection of Mexican and Mexican American Sound Recordings, and the Sinai Manuscripts Digital Library. She is a certified instructor with The Carpentries, a nonprofit organization that teaches foundational coding and data science skills to researchers worldwide.

Maureen Russell will introduce and moderate the event.

Maureen Russell is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Ethnomusicology, University of California, Los Angeles, specializing in audiovisual archiving, oral history, and information literacy and research skills. Russell is also the Archivist at the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive, one of the largest and oldest ethnographic audiovisual archives in North America. She has written two critically acclaimed books about television and film, Highlander: The Complete Watcher’s Guide (Warner Aspect) and Days of Our Lives: A Complete History of the Long-running Soap Opera (McFarland). Currently, she is the editor for Music Reference Services Quarterly’s “Off the Beaten Path” column and the editor for Ethnomusicology Review’s “From the Archives” column. Russell was the 2021 UCLA Librarian of the Year. In Fall 2022, the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive was awarded the Judith McCulloh Public Sector Award by the Society of Ethnomusicology. The purpose of the Award is “To recognize the valuable impact of many types of ethnomusicological work that benefits the broader public and typically engages organizations outside academic institutions.”

Martha Steele will present on the process of creating metadata for this multi-media ethnomusicology archive, with the goal of using description to facilitate discovery and bring communities to the collection, especially those of the creators, and interested students and scholars.

Since the completion of her graduate degree in Art History, Martha Steele has worked with art historical and image-based archival collections of research institutions including the Dumbarton Oaks Library and Archives, and the Getty Research Institute. She is currently the Metadata Creation Project Coordinator at the UCLA Library, where she leads projects to create descriptive metadata for digitized special collections materials.

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