Xavier Vatin’s current research project, supported by the Brazilian federal government (CAPES Foundation), examines the recordings made by Lorenzo Dow Turner in Bahia, Brazil in 1940 and 1941. This research collection includes recordings and samples of the African languages spoken and sung in Candomblé. Turner’s original recordings, housed at IU's Archives of Traditional Music (ATM), have never been studied from an ethnomusicological perspective. Vatin’s work aims to better understand the scientific context of Turner's research within the construct of Afro-American studies (combining the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, and Brazil), connecting it to the works of Melville Herskovits, Franklin Frazier, Donald Pierson, Ruth Landes and Alan P. Merriam. His research undertakes an ethnomusicological analysis of this material to establish a dialogical and diachronical connection between past and present diasporic memories. As a result of this project, Vatin is organizing the repatriation of this material to Brazil, in collaboration with the National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage (IPHAN, Brazil) and with the related religious communities. In addition, Vatin hopes to publish and release a portion of Turner's Bahia collection in a 2-CD set, which will include anthropological information and musical transcriptions. This research will also be the basis for his second book project.
For this Noon Concert and Lecture Series event at the ATM, Vatin will present and contextualize a selection of Turner's Bahia recordings, which will be commented upon and discussed with the audience.
Photo Credit: Lorenzo Dow Turner papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Lois Turner Williams.
The Hoagy Carmichael Room is located in Morrison Hall, Room 006 on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington, IN.