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Five Colleges, Inc. press release   Date: 3/1/10 Bookmark and Share

Experts on Afghan Music, Culture to Visit Five Colleges

Renowned experts on music, culture and censorship in Afghanistan will serve as scholars in residence at the five local colleges this week, performing a public concert, screening two of their films and visiting college classes, hosted by the Five College Ethnomusicology Committee.

John Baily (right) and Veronica Doubleday in concert.

As musicians, filmmakers, authors and ethnomusicologists, John Baily and Veronica Doubleday have changed the way the world thinks about music and gender in Afghanistan. They spent two and a half years in Afghanistan in the 1970s conducting extensive ethnomusicological fieldwork; Baily focusing on the public world of menís music and Doubleday on the very different world of womenís music in the Muslim country.

Baily and Doubleday will perform a concert at Smith of traditional music of Afghanistan on Thursday, March 4, at 8 p.m. inm Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage. They will be accompanied by Samir Chatterjee on the tabla. The event is free and open to the public.

During the years of the Soviet occupation and Taliban control of the country, the pair shifted their focus to diasporic communities around the world. In 1985 Baily premiered his award-winning film Amir, documenting the life of an Afghan musician living as a refugee in Pakistan. Three years later Doubleday published Three Women of Herat, describing her relationship in pre-Soviet Afghanistan with three Muslim mothers who shared with her the music, customs and details of their everyday lives.

In 2002, after the fall of the Taliban, Baily and Doubleday established the Afghanistan Music Unit at Goldsmiths College in London and began returning to Afghanistan, giving Doubleday an opportunity to catch up with the subjects of her book and write an epilogue to it. In 2003 Baily released A Kabul Music Diary documenting what was happening in the world of music there one year after the defeat of the Taliban, and has since followed it with two additional films exploring different aspects of Afghan music in Afghanistan and around the world.

The duo's Five College visit began on Sunday, Feb. 28, when Amherst College presented Bailyís film Amir: An Afghan Refugee Musician's Life in Peshawar, Pakistan.

The events, all lfree and open to the public, continue this week.

Wednesday, March 3, 4 p.m., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, South College room 108:

"Music and Censorship in Afghanistan, 1973-2003," a lecture by John Baily. Using clips from his documentaries shot in Afghanistan, Baily will discuss the Taliban's prohibition of live music and musical instruments and the cultural and political implications of this ban.

Thursday, March 4, 8 p.m., Sweeney Concert Hall

Baily and Doubleday will perform a concert of Afghan music.

Friday, March 5, 7:30 p.m., Hampshire College film/photo building

Screening of Bailyís film A Kabul Music Diary. Conversation with the filmmaker and reception follow.

These events are sponsored by Five Colleges, Inc. and its member campuses.



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