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Cambridge Interfaith Programme

In the foreground, we glimpse drumstick and drum. Opposite the unseen player a man in ceremonial attire holds a percussive object. Between them a metal bowl gleams. Is it from here the smoke of incense rises?

In a collaboration between the Université Libre de Bruxelles and the Faculty of Music in Cambridge, Hélène Sechehaye and Vanessa Paloma Elbaz are co-organising a workshop on trance ritual phenomena expressed through sound, music and movement:

Trance’s exploration of the invisible, using a variety of mediums in order to open channels between the physical and the immanent often holds music and sonic expression at its core. Migration can either enhance or erase a group’s engagement with ritual and leaves its mark on the way it is carried out and experienced. Thus, much more than a simple translation of practices from one place to another, migration reshuffles the cards of the links between visible and invisible communities.

This workshop brings together scholars from music, anthropology, literature, philosophy and religious studies whose work covers a geographic span including Latin America and the Caribbean, North Africa, Turkiye, India, Sri Lanka and Europe. Discussion will centre around establishing manners in which spirituality and geographic affiliations are negotiated through music ritual practices.

Participants include Ankur Barua (Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge), Shihan Desilva, (School of Advanced Study University of London), Vanessa Paloma Elbaz (Cambridge University), Carlos Fonseca (Cambridge University), Jean Khalfa (Cambridge University), Samuel Llano (University of Manchester), Peter McMurray (Faculty of Music, Cambridge), and Hélène Sechehaye (Université Libre de Bruxelles).

The Cambridge Interfaith Programme is pleased to be a co-sponsor of this event, courtesy of the Interfaith Research Forum's small grants scheme. The event is also supported by the Fondation Wiener Anspach and the ERC project Past and present musical encounters across the strait of Gibraltar.

This is a by-invitation event. If you are interested in joining the participants, please send an enquiry to CIP (to be conveyed to Dr Elbaz).


Featured image: from a photograph by Felipe Bueno (used with permission).

Tuesday, 24 January, 2023 - 14:30 to 17:00
Event location: 
Cripps Court, Magdalene College, Cambridge

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