January 27th

listening & talk with Ian Nagoski

Curated by Chris Forsyth.

Bowerbird Presents GATE
@ The Rotunda
4014 Walnut Street
8pm; FREE
Ian Nagoski is music researcher, musician, writer and record producer. His avocation is inspiring people who love music to love it more. After curating a string of international collections on his own Canary imprint, in 2011 Nagoski released his most recent project, a 3CD set on the Tompkins Square label depicting the lives and work of Middle Eastern musicians (and their audiences) in and around New York City in the first decades of the 20th century, titled To What Strange Place: The Music of the Ottoman-American Diaspora, 1916-29. Reviewing the set and its voluminous notes in The Wire, Marcus Boon described Nagoski as “like [Harry] Smith, a Walter Benjamin visionary, using his collection of 78s to hallucinate a history that actually happened but which remains hidden beneath official dogma and nationalisms.” Broadcasting selections from it on his KCRW radio show, Henry Rollins said of To What Strange Place "I was entranced; I was fascinated. It is one of the most worthwhile purchases you will make this year. I went and got mine; I think you should, too."

Canary has recently released What Remains of Eden: Anatolian & Levantine Music, 1928-52 and, in the months to come, will release Nagoski's studies of late-Colonial Hindustani vocalists, proto-polka Slavic immigrant stringbands, songs of complaint and escapism from the Greek underworld of the 30s and 40s, the "oriental" nightclub scene on 8th Ave in the 40s-50s, and a global view of the rise of rock-n-roll. Nagoski is also a writer, who has contributed research on under-sung musicians and music to dozens of magazines and blogs. He lectures and teaches widely, moving between informal venues, sound-art festivals, radio and academic institutions. Jason Cherkis’ article on Nagoski’s life and work for the Washington Post was selected for DaCapo’s Best MusicWriting 2011, edited by Alex Ross.

Tonight, he'll be presenting extraordinary songs from around the world and the stories of the long-gone people who made them.

10-minute documentary by Matt Bowden on To What Strange Place:
The Rotunda
4014 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

The Rotunda is a West Philadelphia community-gathering place that is fueled by the belief that art is a catalyst for social change and that the arts can lead to the formation of meaningful partnerships between the University of Pennsylvania and surrounding neighborhoods. Over 300 events are offered every year, including live music, film, spoken word, theater, art, dance, education, youth programs, arts incubation, and various experimental genres. As an alcohol-free, smoke-free venue, The Rotunda provides a critical social alternative for all ages. At its core, The Rotunda is a shared space fostering learning, enrichment, and community support while empowering the public to present, produce, and promote their work.


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