- Ethnickelodeon: a pianola concert with Robert Berkman
- Mon.May.23.2011 07:00 pm
- Popper Theater - Los Angeles
Worlds of Music at UCLA: Celebrating 50 Years of the Ethnomusicology Archive
Ethnickelodeon: a pianola concert with Robert Berkman
The year-long celebration of the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive’s 50th anniversary continues with a pianola (player piano) concert of music from around the world on piano rolls.
Hear melodies of love and lament, dance tunes, jazz, and topical songs from the early 20th century and beyond. The program will include a wide variety of musical traditions, including those from Appalachia and the American Southwest, Jazz and Ragtime, and a selection of Irish, Italian, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Bohemian, Hungarian, Russian, Croatian, Greek, Syrian, Klezmer, Finnish, Ukrainian, Japanese, West Indian, and Maori music.
Robert Berkman is one of a handful of performing pianolists in the world today. Instead of the purely mechanical renditions often associated with the player piano, Berkman’s performances sparkle with life and emotion through his expert manipulation of the pianola’s subtle controls. In addition to his performance expertise, Berkman worked at one of the last companies that produced piano rolls, and is a well-known collector of piano rolls and expert in the subject. He has donated an important collection of piano rolls to the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive.
Come enjoy an evening of a world of music waiting to be rediscovered and enjoyed as well as a fascinating piece of American music history played by a master.To watch Mr. Berkman playing the Lithuanian player piano roll "Merguzeles" click on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EHtEL_7brg
This roll is part of the Robert Berkman collection of piano rolls held by the Ethnomusicology Archive. The performance was captured during a recording session in which Lithuanian piano rolls held by the Archive were played and recorded so that the music could be repatriated to Lithuania. A CD and catalogue of the music has been released: Lietuviška muzika pianolai [Lithuanian Music for Pianola]. Kaunas: Technologija, 2010. ISBN 978-9955-25-903-9.
“Have pianola will travel” with Robert Berkman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjx4rmzsNhs
Player pianos were extremely popular in the United States from 1890 into the 1930s. At one point in the 1920s more than half of the pianos sold in the United States were player pianos.1 Although they were produced by a number of different companies, most of them played from long paper scrolls. The sound quality of the player pianos was superior to that of the early Edison cylinder player. Among the thousands of piano rolls manufactured during the 20th century are many rolls of the music of immigrants to the United States and a very important collection of ragtime and piano jazz. This concert will feature those recordings, which can be an important resource for studying the music of the first third of the 20th Century. Berkman will explain the mechanism and present a selection of very significant piano rolls, including some from the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive collections.
 Timothy D. Taylor, "The Commodification of Music at the Dawn of the Era of "Mechanical Music" in Ethnomusicology, Vol. 51, No. 2 (Spring/Summer, 2007), pp. 281-305.--------------------
Jan Popper Theater (Room 1200) is located on the first floor of the Schoenberg Music Building. All-day parking ($10) and short-term parking (payable at pay stations) are available in Lot 2 (enter the campus at Hilgard and Westholme avenues).
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