A changer
Publié : 04 August, 2023

Music Conference at Cape Coast University, Ghana, of the Pan African Society for Musical Arts Education (PASMAE), 24-28 July 2023

PASMAE is an advocate for music and musical arts In Africa. It was founded in HARARE in Zimbabwe in August 2000. Its mission is to support music education, music educators and pedagogical research in music and dance.

Reporter for Sita News and PAMAE delegate : Rita Stirn

During Biennial conferences, PASMAE offers not just connections on the African continent but also contacts at a global scale through its partnership with the International Society for Music Education(ISME):“PASMAE provides space to build a collective “voice of Africa” in matters of music scholarships. It is a place to grow and glow as an academic” says keynote speaker, Professor Emily Achien Akuno, Cooperative University of Kenya.

[caption id="attachment_27962" align="alignnone" width="963"] Student participating in presentation on exploring new creative spaces for music.[/caption]  

The theme chosen for the 13th Biennial PASMAE Conference focuses on Evolving Musical Arts Spaces, Cultures, and Sustainable Development in Africa. Around twelve presentations are given daily in three conference rooms at University of Cape Coast with over a hundred PASMAE delegates coming from Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, the USA, Switzerland, Germany, Cyprus and France.

The Opening of the Conference starts with an introduction of PASMAE’s activities on the African continent by Dr Benon Kigozi, Secretary General and Honorary president of the Society, from Uganda, followed by a speech delivered by the Representative of the Vice Chancellor of University of Cape Coast (UCC) and a spokesperson for UCC faculty from the School of Economics. Eric Debrah Otchere of the Performing Arts Department ensured the organization and academic content of the Conference and acts as the Coordinator on campus for the International PASMAE delegates.

[caption id="attachment_27963" align="alignnone" width="948"] Traditional music and dance[/caption]  

The Opening ceremony delights the audience with a musical interlude of the Choir of Cape Coast University singing Zambinabina Yapaoe. and an extract of the musical Nkrumah’s vision  with  Nkrumah’s encounter with Fathia and declaration of love and the Funeral procession of the mourners after Nkrumah’s death, performed by the students of the Music and Arts Department.

Part of the Opening ceremony,the drumming ensembles playing on traditional atumpan drums, accompanied by male and female dancers in the main hall.

From day one to day four, there has been a full schedule of presentations starting at 8:30 am and lasting till 5:00 pm with venues in three rooms.

To enhance the theme “Evolving Musical Arts Spaces, Cultures and Sustainable Development”, the speakers focused on evolving music teaching methods, as suggested by the keynote speaker Professor Emily Achieng Akuno from Kenya by “recontextualisation/reimagining/ reconfigurating/resituating/ recreating an African space in music”. “Music accompanies us from the cradle to the grave. So music is appropriate to all age groups”.

Chipo Namaiko and Bibian Kalinde from Zambia point out emerging needs in the presentation entitled ”Interrogations and Prospects in Educational Policies for Music Education”. Other speakers addressed the preservation of traditional music and dance and their revitalization as by Professor Amuah of UCC in his keynote address. Gender is an issue put forward by Madinatu Bello with “Narratives from Female Master drummers” or by Awura-Ama Agyapong from Ghana, with traditional female percussionists. Gender is also highlighted in Lydia Ampomah’s presentation entitled: “Demystifying Culture: Exploring taboos among Akan Women in Cape Coast, Ghana”.

Vidéo importante : https://youtu.be/Jh9BK8PnK6k

Musical identities are explored in their influence on Jazz music as by female pianist Phuti Sepuri from South Africa: “Exploring musical identities and South Africanness in Jazz Pianism”.

The American scholar, from University of Michigan, Professor Antonio Cuyler, gives a presentation entitled:” Casualties of Exclusionary Cultural policies, Exploring the Paradox of Black American Cultural Engagement in the US” in addition to a “Black Lives Matter” approach in Art, which goes beyond the USA as he explained. Lawrence M.Jackson from Geoge Mason University, Michigan presents five choreographies “Say Her Name, Too” performed by female dancers, in memory of the female victims killed because of racism.

Speaker Samuel KAYODE from Nigeria focuses on awareness of climate change that has become a ubiquitous necessity in all professions. As a case in point, the Nigerian capital, Lagos, a “gasping city”: “In Defence of a voiceless environment in popular music in megacity Lagos”.

Lien important [Vidéo] https://youtu.be/EMNYsnGpm18

As for new music spaces, Nelson Manganye from South Africa focuses on “ Backyard music power: Following the trajectories of how amapiano developed from South African townships”. Amapiano is a Zulu or Xhosa word, referring to a subgenre in music mixing House and Kwaito music, in the mid 2010s, in South Africa. Similarly, Rick Deja, South Africa, highlights the practice of udahi and musical bows similar to birimbao to enhance creativity in new music spaces.

Bridging the gap between academic studies and professional performances raised many interrogations among faculty and students. Some institutions were blamed for their “complacency and tendency to maintain status quo and poorly committed resource persons in curricula review” as outlined by Professor Amuah. Finding new creative spaces for music students to perform in a professional context, within and outside the University, was pointed out by Dr Benon Kigozi, giving advice on how to proceed, from his own experience in Kampala.

[caption id="attachment_27964" align="alignnone" width="1600"] PASMAE delegates from Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, USA.[/caption]  

During the last evening of the Conference, the Department of Performing Arts and its students, directed by Eric Debrah Otchere, gave a full performance at the National Theatre of Cape Coast, about Nkrumah’s life as the first President of independent Ghana in 1956. The lively performers on stage were backed by an energetic live band, who were playing on traditional drums, as well as modern instruments. The students performed with remarkable ease on stage and delighted the audience.

The PASMAE 2023 Conference at UCC in Ghana ended with the General Assembly and the attribution of two awards to PASMAE distinctive members in South Africa Also, a new president was elected, for two years, namely Bibian Kalinde from Zambia.

The delegates and speakers have addressed thoroughly the theme of PASMAE 2023 and concluded by the necessary adequacy between the curriculum and music practice, the promotion of equality rather than equity, the development of professional inclusion and intercultural teaching for a sustainable development in the country.

Music is the soft industry of Africa, it combines tradition, innovation and creativity to start from local to grow global.

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