The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, Department of Ethnomusicology presents a film and discussion by Steven Feld, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Music at the University of New Mexico.
Por Por music (pronounced“paw paw”) is named for the honking sound of antique squeeze-bulb car horns, ubiquitous on the wooden lorries of Ghana’s early transport history. After electric horns arrived in West Africa, these obsolete signaling instruments virtually disappeared. But a union of bus and truck drivers in the Accra township of La kept the por por horns and invented a jazzy honking music adding bells, drums, and voices. The La drivers only perform Por Por at funerals of their fellow union transport workers, and their music has gone largely unnoticed until recently. In March 2008 the La Drivers Union Por Por Group lost one of its key members, Nelson Ashirifie Mensah. This film documents the funeral performed in his memory and discusses Por Por’s relation to the New Orleans jazz funeral.
This film is part of Feld’s just-released DVD trilogy titled Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra, Ghana, which is a companion to his soon to be published book, Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra: A Memoir (UC Press).
Bio: Steven Feld is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Music at the University of New Mexico. Since 1975 his acoustemology studies and visual/sound art projects and have focused on Papua New Guinea, Japan, Southern Europe, and Ghana.
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Date: Friday, March 05, 2010
Time: 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Jan Popper Theater
1200 Schoenberg Music Building
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Cost: Open to the public and free of charge
Parking in Lot 2 $10 (Hilgard and Westholme); pay-by-space
UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology Tel: (310) 206-3033
Sponsor(s): Ethnomusicology, The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.