Don’t Let Me Be Lost to You: Early 20th Century Near Eastern Musics in New York City was Ian Nagoski’s talk-and-record-listening event that served to illuminate a world-within-a-world of a musical culture as it developed over two generations. At the height of immigration to the United States 100 years ago, a wave of people from the collapsing Ottoman Empire settled in the U.S. At the same time, the burgeoning record industry in and around New York City radically hastened the dissemination of musical cultures and documented thousands of performances by performers from present-day Turkey, Syria, Armenia, Lebanon, Egypt, and Greece within the U.S. And then, for a half-century, those recordings were neglected. Who were these musicians? Where did they go? How did their work affect America? Don’t Let Me Be Lost to You: Early 20th Century Near Eastern Musics in New York City explored the details of artistic expressions of immigrants, and the social realities of a “nation of immigrants” and its ambivalences concerning who matters and who gets remembered.
Presented with the support of the Government of Canada and SOCAN Foundation in conjunction with Nadah El Shazly’s concert at Western Front.
Curated by Aram Bajakian.