A message from IASPM Executive Chair for 2011-2013

Dear IASPM members,


This is Martha Tupinambá de Ulhôa writing to greet members before many go off on summer holiday (while others across the world go back to work after a short winter break). I would like to express my delight at being elected IASPM Executive Chair for 2011-2013. The new executive for 2011-2013 is composed of General Secretary Carlo Nardi (Italy); Treasurer, Violeta Mayer (Chile, UK); with Membership Secretary, Laura Francesca Jordan (Chile, Canada); Web/Publications Manager Ed Montano (Australia-New Zealand); Member at Large, Héctor Fouce (Spain); with Sara Jansson (Sweden) as additional member-at-large due to the necessity to reforge IASPM’s original registration in Sweden. The executive has been enlarged temporarily to facilitate the sorting of specific administrative matters (IASPM legal status and future international fee collection plans).

IASPM Honorary Members

At the recent AGM at IASPM’s 30th Anniversary Conference held in Grahamstown South Africa an acclaimed motion was passed making IASPM founder Philip Tagg a IASPM Honorary Member, as well as Jan Fairley, retiring Chairperson, in recognition of their outstanding work in the 1980s when IASPM was establishing itself and for their the long term commitment and service to the association.

Grahamstown Conference

Grahamstown was a great conference enjoying excellent organization by a team co-ordinated by Michael Drewett working with a local, small but efficient administrative group led by Liza Colloty. Everything went smoothly in a most courteous manner. The conference, attended by a good number of IASPM international members was an excellent opportunity to welcome both senior and young scholars from Africa. Among them were long time member Chris Ballantine who participated in the conference opening and offered lively participation during all plenaries and several sessions. Also attended the conference Africanist David Coplan who offered pertinent observation and comment at key points, particularly concerning issues about national identity.
Philip Tagg’s opening keynote set the IASPM scene inspiring lively discussion, including to Philip’s pleasure some diverging comments on his ideas. The keynote offered by John Collins gave an excellent introduction to the development of popular music studies in Ghanaian Universities and by implication other parts of Africa. US anthropologist Steven Feld came as a conferee and before being knocked out by high-fever had time to talk about the making of his film Hallelujah, about Ghanaian drummer Ghanaba (aka Guy Warren) which among other things involves a talking drum version of Handel’s Hallelujah chorus. The conference was enjoyed by all despite the fact that many conferees did not realise that South African winters can be cold and wet and that most public buildings including the Rhodes University auditoriums can be unexpectedly cold!

There were various social occasions including the Popular Music Journal 30th Anniversary reception (with PM represented by editorial board member Martin Cloonan) which was tied to the Conference Opening Reception, held at the Albany History Museum. Here Diane Thram enthusiastically introduced us to a special viewing of an exhibition about pioneering African musicologist Hugh Tracey and the International Library of African Music (ILAM). At the reception we had the pleasure to meet Andrew Tracey, former ILAM coordinator and Hugo Tracey’s son. After the conference was over several of us could enjoy his performance with a group at the Grahamstown Festival playing mbira (thumb piano), steel drum, and the amandinda, an unusual type of xylophone, in which two players play at very fast tempo using an interlocking technique.

The full IASPM executive report for 2009-2011 including accounts which was delivered at the AGM is already on the IASPM website where it can be read by all. Full minutes of the AGM written by ex-General Secretary Helmi Järviluoma-Mäkelä will be posted on the IASPM webpage as soon as they are ready. I would like to congratulate Helmi Järviluoma-Mäkelä for her firm but gentle management of the AGM together with Philip Tagg as Chair (in Jan Fairley’s absence due to ill health).

IASPM Conference 2013

The executive would like to announce that the 2013 IASPM biannual international conference will be held in Oviedo in northern Spain in July 2013 organised by Eduardo Vinuela with Spanish IASPM. More news will be forthcoming about the conference in the Autumn including exact dates and the conference theme and we hope you will put it in your diary now!

During my time as Chair it is my intention to strengthen the relationship between national branches, IASPM international and the IASPM executive as the association grows in terms of both membership and branches. It is good for IASPM members to have the bi-annual conference in mind as a target meeting place whenever possible to complement national branch activity. We hope to welcome as many members as possible to IASPM Spain in 2013!
While I am a Brazilian who is usually based in Rio de Janeiro, until February 2012 I will be a Senior Research Fellow at King’s College, University of London. I will then return to UNIRIO where I hope to be able to welcome IASPM-ites whenever they come to Rio.

Cheers and obrigado,

Martha Tupinambá de Ulhôa

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