Thursday, December 29, 2016

Afghan Women’s Orchestra “Zohra”

Dear friends,


  I am writing to invite you to watch a streaming performance by the Afghan Women's Orchestra "Zohra," who will be performing the closing performance of the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Friday, January 20, 2017 at 5:30 Swiss time, which is 11:30am EST. It will be streaming on


   The closing performance at the Davos Congress Centre is attended by all the participants and attendees of the 2017 conference, which include several thousand world leaders and top business men and women from all around the world. The concert will be  broadcast on international media in over 70 countries. 


  I have had the honor of teaching and leading the Afghan Women's Orchestra "Zohra" this year as the Director of Orchestral Studies at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music. This concert features 31 young ladies from across Afghanistan. They are the very first large performing ensemble of all female musicians EVER in Afghanistan, which is still ranked among the top worst places in the world to be a woman, and where music and musicians are still targeted and suppressed. The orchestra contains both Western and traditional Afghan instruments. 


   The concert will feature 4 parts. The first part will feature small ensemble pieces by traditional Afghan instruments. The next three parts will feature the full orchestra, led by my two conducting students, Zarifa and Negin, and myself. These young ladies are the first female conductors EVER in Afghanistan. It is an important and symbolic gesture for a woman to take a public, leadership role in Afghanistan- and it is one that does not come without risks. All of our young ladies have been very brave and defied the odds against violence and poverty to come to school each day. Zarifa and Negin will lead the orchestra in a wide selection of Afghan music arranged for our unique ensemble.  I will get to conduct the orchestra myself in my own arrangement of the last movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, and a world premiere written for the orchestra by Sadie Harrison. Part of my job in Afghanistan has been to create written arrangements of Afghan folk music (a primarily aural tradition) for various ensembles, to help make sure that this centuries-old musical tradition is never at risk at again. 


  This concert kicks off a European tour, where we will then play concerts and participate in cultural exchanges and workshops in Geneva and Zürich (at the famous Zürich Tonhalle,) and then in Weimar and Berlin. 


  You can find various photos and videos on Facebook leading up to and during the tour by searching the hashtag #Zohratour.  There is also a lot of hype going around via the Associated Press, so you will see us a lot in the news in the coming weeks if you search "Afghan Women's Orchestra Zohra."


   I am also proud to announce that Naxos choose our Toccata Classics album "The Rosegarden of Light" as one of their top albums of 2016. This was last year's  project between the Afghan Women's Orchestra "Zohra," the Ensemble of Traditional Afghan Instruments, and our musical ensemble back in Connecticut, Cuatro Puntos.  With this album, and now again with this historic tour, I am honored to play a part in leading the Afghan Women's Orchestra "Zohra" toward redefining the image of Afghanistan, as well as serving a role in preserving Afghan music and making it available worldwide. 


  We hope you will hear us via the streaming performance at


   Happy holidays!    Kevin Bishop

Director of Orchestral Studies- Afghanistan National Institute of Music

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Fwd: Computer Simulation of Musical Creativity 2017

Dear all,

We are happy to announce the second Conference on Computer Simulation
of Musical Creativity. The event will be held at the Open University
in Milton Keynes (UK) from 11 to 13 Sept 2017.

•Deadline for paper submission: 10 June 2017

Submissions can cover both theoretical and/or practical aspects of
the computer simulation of musical creativity. Interdisciplinary
proposals at the intersection of music, computer science, psychology
and philosophy are welcome. Topics of interest may include, but are
not limited to:

Computer Systems
• systems capable of generating music;
• systems capable of performing music;
• systems capable of (online) improvisation;
• systems capable of analysing music;
• music-robotic systems;
• systems implementing societies of virtual musicians;
• systems that foster and enhance the musical creativity of human users;
• music recommendation systems;
• systems implementing computational aesthetics, emotional responses,
novelty and originality;

• surveys of state-of-the-art techniques in the area;
• validation methodologies;
• philosophical foundations of creative music systems;
• mathematical foundations of creative music systems;
• evolutionary models for creative music systems;
• cognitive models for creative music systems;
• studies on the applicability of music-creative techniques to other
research areas;
• new models for improving creative music systems.

Peer-Review Process and Proceedings

All papers are double-blind peer reviewed by at least two
specialists. Proceedings will be published online. Extended versions
of selected papers will be published in a special issue of the Journal
of Creative Music Systems (

Paper Submission

Details of submission procedure and formatting can be found at

For enquiries, please contact

Best Wishes,
Robin Laney
Steven Jan
Valerio Velardo


The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an
exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland
(SC 038302).

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Fwd: Psychology of Music - New Editor Announcement


Greetings to all in the Psychology of Music community,

I am honoured to have been appointed as the incoming Editor of
Psychology of Music. I am extremely fortunate to be taking over from
Alexandra Lamont who, alongside the Editorial Board and the team at
SAGE, has done a superb job over the past five years.

During the handover period Alexandra will continue to oversee papers
where she has already begun the editorial process. I will work
alongside her and gradually take over the role of Editor. My very
sincere thanks go to Alexandra, Paolo Ammirante and the team at SAGE
for their support and advice during the handover period which has
begun in this month of December.

As incoming Editor my first priority is to maintain and build upon our
Journal's outstanding reputation as a platform for robust, innovative
and interdisciplinary perspectives in the field.

Psychology of Music is, of course, a testament to the international
expertise and outstanding professionalism represented amongst our
authors, reviewers and readers. I look forward to serving this
community and I hope you will all continue to support Psychology of

Andrea Creech, incoming Editor
Professeure en didactique instrumental
Chaire de recherche du Canada en Musique dans la Communauté
Faculté de Musique,
Université Laval,
Québec, Canada,

Fwd: Call for Papers: 5th Occupational Voice Symposium


Call For Papers!


(We are having some problems with our servers so please accept our apologies if you have received this already!)



Dear Colleagues,


On behalf of Dr Ruth Epstein and the Speech-Language Therapy Department of the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital and the UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science I am pleased to announce the 5th Occupational Voice Symposium! The symposium will take place on the 28th and 29th of March 2017 at University College London.


The programme will include keynote addresses by invited speakers, roundtable discussions and 15 minute free paper presentations on the following topics:


The role of  vocal hyperfunction in occupational voice disorders

Assessment of risk factors for voice problems

Absenteeism versus presenteeism in the workplace

Evaluation of the efficacy of vocal dosimeter devices

Preventative management for work-related voice disorders

Employer detection of dysphonia

Perceptual assessment tools for evaluating voice disorders

Socioeconomics of occupational voice disorders

Use of technology in managing occupational voice

Epidemiology and aetiology of occupational voice disorders


The submission deadline is 15th JANUARY 2017.


Abstract submissions, updates and further details including how to register are found on our website: Register before 10th February to take advantage of our EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION SPECIAL!


For more information, please don't hesitate to contact Brian Saccente-Kennedy at, or send a question through the website.


We look forward to seeing you in London in March!





Brian Saccente-Kennedy MRCSLT
Specialist Speech and Language Therapist

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The Royal National Throat Nose & Ear Hospital

330 Gray's Inn Road