Wednesday, October 16, 2013

CFP: “Music and Nature: Between Scientific Reason and Divine Power”

The Stony Brook Music Department announces its Fourth Annual Graduate Music Symposium, to be held February 14-15, 2014. The symposium will feature a keynote address by Holly Watkins (Eastman School of Music), as well as the performance of the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra presenting works by Richard Strauss, Hindemith and Bartòk. 

Music has always involved nature by imitating its sounds, referring to it in texts set by composers, and more recently by means of recording technology. As environmental awareness has become more widespread, an increasing number of musicological works have engaged with ecological questions.

Since Ancient Greece, thought about music has considered its relationships to nature, as both philosophy and physics were concerned with the nature of musical sound.  The concept of nature itself has been constantly changing throughout history and Aristotle’s idea that understanding of nature involves understanding of change is still valid today. The broad conception of nature includes the essential quality of things, the inherent force that directs either the world or humans, and the material world itself.

We welcome the Symposium participants to explore these various conceptions of nature and how they relate to historical, social, philosophical and scientific manifestations in music, and also invite composers to share of their works that involve sounds of nature. The topics may include, but are not limited to:

·         musical depictions of nature and supernatural;
·         natural beauty versus artificial artworks;
·         acoustics and the nature of musical sound;
·         naturalistic music theories;
·         the "natural genius" or cults of genius;
·         performing in a natural way;
·         gender, sexuality, and revealing human nature in music;
·         nature versus industry at the age of modernity;
·         sounds of nature in electronic works;
·         sound studies in the era of changing technology;
·         acoustemology, local musical ecology and soundscape;
·         political ecology in musical works;
·         bodily engagement in music experience.

We invite submissions of 250-word abstracts for 20-minute papers, 30-minute composer presentations and 40-minute lecture recitals. Proposals for composer talks should include a description of the proposed work and a short biography.

Please submit proposals to by Friday, December 6, 2013. Stony Brook is accessible via JFK and MacArthur Airport, the Long Island Rail Road, and the Bridgeport/Port Jefferson ferry. Housing with Stony Brook graduate students may be available for presenters staying overnight. 

For more information about SBSO concert program, please visit

Monday, February 11, 2013

Conference Program

2013 Stony Brook Graduate Music Symposium: Program

The program for the 2013 Stony Brook Graduate Music Symposium is below. Information about getting to Stony Brook can be found here, and campus maps are available here. We hope to see you at the conference!

Music of the Spectacle

Friday, February 22 (1006 Humanities Building)

11:30 Coffee and Registration, Light refreshments
12:15 Opening Remarks
Professor Judith Lochhead, Director of Graduate Studies
Benjamin Downs, Symposium Chair

12:30-1:30 Popular Combinatorics
David Blake, chair

Lindsay Wright (University of Chicago)
 “Collage, Montage, and Meaning in Popular Music”

Olivia Benware (University of New Hampshire)
 “Live-Looping, Andrew Bird, and the Spectacle of the Modern One Man Band”

1:45-2:45 Spectacle, Out of Doors
Kassie Hartford, chair

Glenda Bates (Stony Brook University)
 “Pomp, Performance, and Palio: Music’s Role in Ceremony and Spectacle as a Construct of Cultural Identity and Civic Pride in the Sienese Republic, 1260–1555”

Antonette Adiova (University of Michigan)
 “Street Dancing in Hybrid Space: Religiosity and Commercialism in the Feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia”

3:00-4:00 Spectacle across Media
Bethany Cencer, chair

 Michael Boerner (Pennsylvania State University)
 “Erik Satie and the Influence of Parisian Dadaism”

 Monica Chieffo (Tufts University)
 “Maria’s Veils, Salome’s Machinery: The Dance Scene in Metropolis  and Salome

4:15-5:30 Keynote Address
Professor Ryan Minor, chair

 Professor David Levin (University of Chicago)

Reception to follow
Staller Center, Music Wing

8:00-9:00pm Humperdink’s Hansel and Gretel
Staller Center for the Arts

Saturday, February 23 (Tabler Conference Room)

8:30-9:00 Coffee and Bagels

9:00-10:30 Reconstructed Voices
Carlo Lanfossi, chair

 Katherine Kaiser (Stony Brook University)
 “Music Without Spectale?: Intimate Auralities in Ruth Crawford Seeger’s Rissolty Rossilty

 John Romey (Case Western Reserve University)
 “Dancourt’s Early Divertissements: Musical Theater At The Comédie-Français (1685–1699)”

 Amanda L. C. Fontaine (University of New Hampshire)
 “’O Friends, Not These Strains:’ An Analysis of the Use of Text and Textual Symbolism in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony”

11:00-12:00 Sonic Spaces
Benjamin Downs, chair

Nathan Friedman (Wesleyan University)
 “Modifying the Demeanor of the Galaxies: Spectacle and Utopia in the Music of Iannis Xenakis”

Orit Hilewicz (Columbia University)
 “Morton Feldman’s Rothko Chapel Transforming the Boundaries of Individuality: A Study in Musical Ekphrasis”