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Peter Gram Swing Lecture: Marié Abe '01
Start Date: 2/27/2014Start Time: 4:30 PM
End Date: 2/27/2014End Time: 6:00 PM

Event Description:
Ethnomusicology on Air: Accordion, Cultural Advocacy and Immigrant Experiences in California

Ethnomusicologist, radio documentary producer and Swarthmore alumna Marié Abe (’01) will discuss her work “Squeezebox Stories,” a public radio documentary on the social history, multicultural adaptation and musical variations of the accordion. The accordion is about much more than the Polka; it’s one of the first global instruments. Played all over the world–everywhere from Italy to Egypt to Brazil–, the squeezebox is a great vehicle for telling immigration stories.

For this talk, Abe will focus on a particular story about the community of indigenous Mexican migrant workers from Oaxaca, who are reimagining their complex sense of belonging in a new land through the accordion. By tracing the network of cultural actors, including an accordionist, producer, cultural activist, and a radio host, Abe will discuss how diverse creative, political, and economic aspirations among the Oaxacan community have been articulated through their reinterpretation of their beloved regional music chilena on the accordion, while producing a provisional yet productive framework for cultural advocacy for their own community. Furthermore, reflecting on her own process of producing a radio documentary about these actors, Abe will consider the efficacy of this documentary project as a kind of musical advocacy at the intersection of ethnomusicology and journalism.

Marié Abe is Assistant Professor of Music in the Department of Musicology and Ethnomusicology at Boston University. Currently, she is a visiting fellow at the Newhouse Center for the Humanities at Wellesley College, working on her book manuscript that explores the politics of public space and sound through a unique street advertisement practice in Japan, entitled Resonances on Chindon-ya: Sound, Space and Sociality in Contemporary Japan. 

Marié holds an MA and a PhD in Ethnomusicology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a degree in sociology/anthropology and ethnomusicology from Swarthmore College. Her research interests include cultural advocacy, ritual music in Bali and Thailand, the global circulation of tango, the accordion and immigrant communities in California, anti-nuclear movement and music in Japan, and afro-futurism in the United States. 
Before Boston University, Marié taught in the Department of Music and Asian Studies Program at UC Berkeley, and in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University, where she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies. She is also a co-producer of the NPR radio documentary “Squeezebox Stories” (premiered in Fall 2011), which tells stories from Californian immigration history using the accordion as a common trope.

Marié is an active performer of the accordion and piano, with frequent concert tours and collaborations with recording artists from the United States and Japan. She is currently performing with the Boston-based Ethiopian groove collective, Debo Band (Sub Pop/Next Ambience), which has been featured in the New York Times, Rolling Stone Magazine, NPR, and other media.
Location Information:
*Swarthmore College - Lang Music Building

*Swarthmore College - Lang Music Building
Room: Lang Concert Hall
Contact Information:
Name: Andrew Hauze
Phone: 610-690-3489
Marié Abe
Event Sponsors
The Peter Gram Swing Lecture Series and The Department of Music and Dance
Open To
The Public

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