Folklore & Ethnomusicology, 800 N. Indiana
In his talk, Panayiotis will examine the intersection between the sense of taste and the sense of time in the musical practices of Anatolian Greek musicians and dancers. Specically, he focuses on members of an extended family of musicians descended from migrants from the island of Lesvos and the Aegean coast of Asia Minor, whose regional music and culinary traditions are distinctive, rich in historical and cultural signicance, and deeply interrelated. His goals are twofold: one, to use a sensorium-centered theoretical framework for investigating how cultural knowledge is constructed at the intersections of sociality, music, and memory; and two, to tease out the specic ways in which the culinary and musical traditions of Lesvos and Asia Minor exist within each other in the cultural life of this immigrant community. He perceives this sensory symbiosis as a “didactic metaphor,” in which the culinary terms “heaviness” and “drunkenness” are used to describe and prescribe the ideal temporal relationships performed in the music and steps of the zeibekiko, the dance and music genre most representative of the Lesvian tradition. Musical and culinary practices in this community are saturated with the co-presence of multiple times – historical, memorial, subjective, and musical pasts, presents, and futures – and an examination of this inherent polytemporality is essential to an understanding of how memory works in the lives of these musicians to create and sustain social bonds and reconcile individual and collective identities in the diaspora context.
Panayotis (Paddy) League is an ethnomusicologist, performer, and composer specializing in the intersections of music, dance, and oral poetry in insular Greece, Northeastern Brazil, and Ireland. He is completing a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology at Harvard University, focusing on narratives of loss and displacement in the music and dance practices of the Anatolian Greek diaspora.
Co-sponsored by the Modern Greek Program, the Institute for European Studies and the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology.