"What is a halay dance? The Collaborative Production of Meanings on Turkish Social Networking Sites"


April 13, 2010 - 12:00pm

You are cordially invited to an ethnomusicology lecture presented by Eliot Bates, Visiting Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Maryland, titled "What is a halay dance? The Collaborative Production of Meanings on Turkish Social Networking Sites."

Eliot Bates is a scholar of music and technology, broadly conceived. While working as a professional recording engineer, Dr. Bates became interested in examining the effect that digital audio workstation recording workflows had on conceptualizations of creativity, composition, and music itself, and the impact that such workflows had on instrumental and vocal performance practices in many genres, including Anatolian traditional and arts musics, Western classical, rock, and electroacoustic genres.

His dissertation, entitled Social Interactions, Musical Arrangement, and the Production of Digital Audio in Istanbul Recording Studios, used extensive ethnographic evidence and archival data to explore the social systems and the artistic, technical, and bodily practices of cultural production in contemporary Turkey. The work focused on one particular interaction -- between the arranger, engineer, and studio musician -- as the primary site for analyzing issues of musical change, technical work, cultural meanings, and mediation. At the macro scale, these interactions happened inside the context of multiple overlapping social networks, which not only structured micro-scale interactions, but also drove aesthetic decisions during production. These practices cut across Turkish folk, classical, pop, and Anatolian ethnic music (in marginalized languages such as Zazaki and Lazuri), encompassing album productions, film scores, and non-musical recordings for TV and radio.

Dr. Bates has also been an active performer and teacher of the 'ud. He has performed and recorded extensively in North America and Turkey with groups specializing in Turkish, Ottoman, Arabic, Persian, Spanish, Armenian, and Greek-language repertoires, as well as with more experimental forms. Since 2004, his main interest has been in adapting Anatolian folk musics to the 'ud.