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CMRC Autumn Week 4 seminar: Amandine Pras (in person) and Jonathan Kay (online)

Tuesday 19 October 2021, 4.00PM to 5.30pm

Speaker(s): Amandine Pras (in person) and Jonathan Kay (online)

A Home Away From Home: Sounds of Jazz-Hindustani Conversations

In January 2015, two maestros from the West Bengal Hindustani classical music scene – Subhajyoti Guha (tabla) and Sougata Roy Chowdhury (sarod), freely improvise with two musicians from the New York alternative jazz scene – Michael Attias (alto saxophone) and Jim Black (drums). The documentary A Home Away From Home opens with a concert in quartet in downtown Kolkata, to then take the audience to a journey within the creative process of four world-class musicians when they first met in duet in Santiniketan, city of poet Tagore.

Without being a central figure of this psychological case study, recording plays an important role in the cross-cultural experiment as it enables trilogs that superimpose the music on the improvisers’ individual commentaries when listening to the playback of their duet performances. These trilogs alternate with discussions about mutual influencing, shared understanding and misunderstanding, and the need for traditions to evolve.

This research was made possible thanks to a postdoctoral fellowship of the Fonds de recherche – Société et culture (FRQSC) of Quebec, and to the support of Dr. Michael Schober at the New School for Social Research in New York. The completion of the documentary was partly funded by the research group “Aesthetic, art and science” in France.

Amandine Pras is a recording producer, audio engineer, researcher, and educator. Before joining the University of York in September 2021, she was a Lecturer of Digital Audio Arts in the Music Department at the University of Lethbridge (Alberta) for four years. There, she designed the West African Audio Network now led by adam patrick bell at the University of Calgary and funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), in partnership with Digital Cultures in West Africa: Music, Youth, and Mediation coordinated by Emmanuelle Olivier at Centre Georg Simmel, CNRS, EHESS Paris, and funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR).

Since graduating from the Advanced music production program at the Paris Conservatoire, Amandine has worked as a freelance audio engineer and music producer on projects ranging from free and alternative jazz, classical and popular music, through to electroacoustic and experimental music, with artists as diverse as the ARC Ensemble, Jim Black, Luciane Cardassi, Nels Cline, Quatuor Bozzini, Subhajyoti Guha, Andy Milne, William Parker, and Satoshi Takeishi. Her PhD thesis that she conducted at McGill University and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT) focused on the varied practices of creating musical recordings in the digital era.

Committed to find solutions to de-gender and decolonize the field of Audio, Amandine is a co-founder of AUDIO+ events and journal currently funded by SSHRC with Kirk McNally at the University of Victoria (British Colombia), Eliot Bates at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and Grace Brooks at McGill University and CIRMMT. Amandine is also dedicated to enhancing women and gender-non-conforming producers’ access to advanced audio education. In this view, she is a consultant for the Women in the Studio program directed by Margaret McGuffin at Music Publisher Canada.

Jonathan Kay is a PhD student in the department of East-West Psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco under the mentorship of Dr. Debashish Banerji. He has been studying East-West philosophy and psychology, and his dissertation research is focused on developing ideas about musical and transcultural hermeneutics. As a scholar-practioner in arts-based research, Jonathan is exploring the horizons between thought and sound based on the work of Gilles Deleuze and the non-standard philosophy of Francois Laruelle.

Jonathan is an internationally recognized jazz improviser and multi-instrumentalist (saxophones, esraj, bansuri, shakuhachi) hailing from Toronto, Canada. In search of non-western ways of musical knowing, he moved to Kolkata, India, in 2008, and for 10 years traditionally studied North Indian Raga music, innovating its expression on the saxophone. He has also traveled to Kyoto to learn Japanese shakuhachi music. Based on questions of cross-cultural translation and integration, Jonathan’s music is exploring transcultural possibilities through experimental and contemplative models of improvisation.

Please contact Catherine Laws for the Zoom link:

Location: Sally Baldwin Building, room D003 and online