Monday 24 March 2014 (7:00 - 8:15 pm - Open to all)
Between 1977 and 1979, Paul Mattar set out to collect traditional musical forms used in everyday life in the Gulf. In his presentation, Paul will recount his experiences and explain the objectives and outcomes of the field project he undertook in Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar.
He undertook his project in the Gulf for the following reasons:
1) The world knew little or nothing about the traditional culture of the region, which was seen only through the perspective of modern oil nations. Very few people were interested in the history of the societies of those nations before the discovery of oil.
2) The richness and specificity of the Gulf traditions as they related to former activities: pearl diving, sea travel, life in the desert.
3) The great diversity of musical traditions forming a cultural mosaic through the various ethnic groups and communities that have made up Gulf societies for nearly 250 years.
In two years of research and meetings in the three countries, Paul Mattar acquired a collection of recordings, photos and interviews: Songs about work, pastimes, popular festivals and various social events . . .
These traditional art forms are destined to disappear as the lifestyle that gave them a reason for being no longer exists. The Gulf today is resolutely turned towards modernity. Pearl diving and life in the desert are no longer relevant. Should we forget them permanently?
Can they still play a role in our contemporary culture? These are some of the questions that the author will attempt to address.