Veronica Doubleday Concert with John Baily: Women’s Traditional Songs from Afghanistan

Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 7:00pm
CFA Hall


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“The lyrics are drenched in youthful sensuality and the melodies have great charm."
BBC Music Magazine

London vocalist Veronica Doubleday will draw on her deep knowledge of women’s music-making in the Afghan city of Herat, offering insight into their expressive world. She accompanies her singing with the traditional women’s instrument, the daireh frame drum. Her Persian-language texts cover themes of love, spiritual devotion, humor, and protest. Her husband John Baily, Emeritus Professor of Ethnomusicology at Goldsmiths, London University, accompanies her, playing the two-stringed dutar lute.

In the 1970s, Ms. Doubleday undertook research on the lives, beliefs, friendships, and activities of women in the city of Herat while a resident there with Mr. Baily. They learned to perform Afghan music as a technique of ethnomusicological research, and since then have performed concerts and given academic presentations around the world.

Ms. Doubleday is the author of the narrative ethnography Three Women of Herat (1988) and I Cried on the Mountain Top (2010), a book containing her translations of traditional Persian-language folk poetry, as well as a number of articles and book chapters. Mr. Baily is acknowledged as a world authority on the music of Afghanistan, and music in the Afghan diaspora. His publications include Music of Afghanistan: Musicians in the City of Herat (1988); “Can you stop the birds singing?”: The Censorship of Music in Afghanistan (2003), and Songs from Kabul: The Spiritual Music of Ustad Amir Mohammad (2011); several acclaimed ethnographic films, and numerous scholarly articles and book chapters.

This event is part of Muslim Women's Voices at Wesleyan.