The Intercultural Institute of Comparative Music Studies (IISMC) promotes knowledge about the expression in various musical cultures and investigates into contemporary musical processes in an intercultural prospective. Almost every month, its activities include different kinds of events: seminars and scientific conferences on intercultural musicology, courses and theoretical-pratical master classes, concerts dedicated to musical tradition and dance from various contemporary world cultures. Special attention is paid to teaching and to the collaboration with local cultural institutions, first of all Cà Foscari University.
In addition to the various initiatives that take place in San Giorgio, the IISMC promotes its events on-line, especially with video extracts on the YouTube channel of the Foundation and through publications: its own series of books, music Intersections, in collaboration with the publisher Editore Nota of Udine that includes both printed books, multimedia publications and online publications. The Institute also treats an archive containing the documentation (expecially audio and video) of the activities organized in the course of over forty years of business and is responsible for the scientific part of the Alain Daniélou Fund.
Founded in 1970 by Alain Daniélou at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in conjunction with the lnternational Institute for Comparative Music Studies and Documentation in Berlin (created in 1963), the Venetian Institute during its first ten years of activity promoted awareness in the West of the best interpreters of the great non-European musical traditions by coordinating European festivals, and creating a LP series, Musical Atlas, published by EMI in collaboration with UNESCO. Directed by Ivan Vandor, Francesco Giannattasio and, since 2004, by Giovanni Giuriati, the Institute promotes knowledge of the various musical cultures of the world, and investigates into contemporary musical processes in an intercultural perspective. Almost every month, its activities include different kinds of events: seminars and scientific conferences on intercultural musicology, courses and master classes, concerts devoted to musical tradition and dance from various contemporary world cultures. Special attention is paid to teaching and to the collaboration with local cultural institutions, first of all Cà Foscari University of Venice.
The Institute publishes a series of books, Intersezioni Musicali, in collaboration with the publisher Nota of Udine that includes printed books, audio, audiovisual, multimedia, and online publications.
The music of oral tradition in contemporary society: research, teaching, archives”
The Institute’s research activities are currently moving in different planes:
1) The organization of seminars and study meetings on the main issues at the center of international debate in ethnomusicological research. International seminars of ethnomusicology (edited by Francesco Giannattasio) have constituted the central moment for twenty years, giving rise to various publications in print and online. Since 2016 it has been inaugurated a new series, entitled ‘Music (and musicology) of the twenty-first century’ which aims to reflect on contemporary musical practices in intercultural and transnational perspective. In addition, the IISMC also organizes study days linked to particular research topics and hosts scientific meetings of international organizations, such as the ‘European Seminar in Ethnomusicology (ESEM) or the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM).
2) Specific projects are another field of research, where a spectacular moment is accompanied by a theoretical and scientific reflection. It is the case of Polifonies “in viva voce”, now in its twentieth edition. This series of meetings organized in collaboration with the University of Venice, curated by Maurizio Agamennone, seeks to reflect, through seminars and concerts, on ways of singing together today in the musical traditions, especially Italian and European ones. Another major project, now in its fifth edition, is Bîrûn, a seminar on Ottoman music program, curated by Kudsi Erguner, in which they are “rediscovered”, studied and performed music by composers working within the Ottoman court, now forgotten , in a perspective that aims to emphasize the cosmopolitan present in the Ottoman music world.
3) Another research path is aimed at investigating the contamination processes, hybridization and crossover in music and in contemporary dance. How, for example, the master of Carolyn Carlson and Shobana Jeyasingh on the influence of the East in their creative processes, or the of the Ibarra-Rodriguez duo seminars and concerts (Electric Kulintang) and Konono n. 1.
4) The establishment of a digital archive is another institutional objective, but also research, the Institute. The need for an archive stems from the desire to order the existing documentation (including a number of video and audio materials of dell’IISMC activities, the bibliographic fund donated by Alain Daniélou at the Cini Foundation, specific collections donated to the Institute) and increase new acquisitions, promoting moments of scientific reflection on these materials and educational projects.
The dell’IISMC research is conducted in collaboration with various institutions, mainly the University of Venice and the Regione Veneto.
Giovanni Giuriati, director dell’IISMC
The IISMC has inaugurated a Editoral series, Musical Intersections, in collaboration with the publisher Editore Nota of Udine in which publish materials, sound, audiovisual, printed, multi-media to make known to a wider audience of those who participate in organized events in Venice, some of the most important projects of the Institute.
The institute continues along the lines already drawn, enhancing the search paths through publications and a broader and more diversified use of the resources offered by the Internet.