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Professor Kevin Fellezs will be giving the 2014 Woody Guthrie Distinguished Lecture at the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, US Branch (IASPM-US) annual conference on Saturday, March 15, 2014, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Fellezs's talk is titled "What Is This 'Black' In Japanese Popular Music? (Re)Imagining Race in a Transnational Polycultural Context," which focuses on his research of Black American musicians enjoying success in Japan in enka and J-Pop, two genres strongly associated with Japanese-ness, complicating conventional ideas linking identity, nationality, race, and genre.
Prof. Georg F. Haas, recently appointed as Professor of Music Composition at Columbia, is featured in a Feb. 20, 2014 profle in the New York Times, entitled Varied Pitches to Fill Empty Spaces: Georg Friedrich Haas's Works Are Rooted in Microtonality. The article was written by Vivien Schweitzer.
Mr. Haas's works are rooted in microtonality -- a system that divides the conventional scale of Western classical music into many more than its usual 12 semitone pitches. (His opera "Thomas" incorporates some 1,600 different pitches.) In Europe, composers like Ligeti and Penderecki used microtones; American composers including Charles Ives, Harry Partch and La Monte Young have also breached the standard division of the octave.
In Mr. Haas's scores, these microtones result in opulent and otherworldly harmonies that at times seem impossible to have been produced by acoustic instruments. On the two occasions I heard the excellent Argento Chamber Ensemble perform his "In Vain," a masterpiece of glistening sonorities that unfurls in hypnotic waves of sound, I had the sense of hearing something unique.
The Deprtment of Music congratulates Dr. Richard Miller, Adjunct Professor of Music Theory and Ear Training, on the publication of his monograph: The Guitar in the Brazilian Choro: Analyses of Traditional, Solo, and Art Music.
The monograph examines the role of the guitar in choro in three expressions of the genre: traditional choros, popular choros for solo guitar, and academic choros of Heitor Villa-Lobos, Radames Gnattali, and Cesar Guerra-Peixe. This examination is done primarily through analyses of transcriptions of the guitar part for the traditional choro and of published scores for solo and academic choros. As an accompanying instrument, the guitar is found to be fundamental in the introduction of African rhythms into choro and in defining the dances of choro, such as the lundu, maxixe, and tango brasileiro, based on the guitar accompanimental patterns. The solo literature is shown to have a strong relation to both the traditional and academic choros, as exemplified in the works of Joao Pernambuco. Composers Villa-Lobos, Gnattali, and Guerra-Peixe used the characteristics of choro to write complex and appealing works of art for the guitar in the musical language of the twentieth century. Analyses of selected works by those composers reveal both the variety of their compositional styles and their shared background in choro.
Prof. Mariusz Kozak, who recently joined Columbia's faculty in Music Theory, is the subject of a new article in Columbia News discussing his research. Author Gary Shapiro writes . . .
"Kozak, who joined Columbia's Department of Music last July, is now taking that research interest a step further, studying the connection between how people listen and move to music. "Every known culture has some sort of combination of dance and music." Whether you're tapping your feet to jazz, nodding along to classical music or playing air guitar to rock 'n' roll, it is all material for his research. "The study of motion and music is an emerging area," said Kozak, who notes that interest in the subject has risen over the past decade or so as the technology for recording the movement of objects and people--motion capture--has improved."
Fall 2013 News and announcements from the Composition Program
Yoshiaki Onishi's Gaudeamus-commissioned work "Tramespace, diptych for large ensemble, Part I" (2012~13) was performed by Asko|Schonberg Ensemble in September 2013 in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Taylor Brook received an honorable mention from the Jules Leger prize for the second year in a row as well as MIVOS prize for El jardin de senderos que se bifurcan, a string quartet composed for a CC concert.
Zosha di Castri's music received numerous performances. This past September, there were three performances of "Lineage" by the San Francisco Symphony, directed by Michael Tilson Thomas. "The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named", commissioned by Ekmeles, received its premiere with the help of the Canada Council for the Arts. She has received a commission for Esprit Orchestra for May 2014. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, conducted by John Adams, will perform her "Lineage" in March 2014.
Alec Hall was elected for the Ensemble Contemporain de Montreal's "Generation 2014" project. The award consists of a workshop in Montreal this March, followed by a week in Banff in November, then an 8-city/concert cross-Canada tour.
Ashkan Behzadi received Second Prize in the SOCAN young composer competition for 2013. He also won the Sir Ernest MacMillan Awards for "Urban Trilogy" for chamber orchestra, the Fontainebleau Prix de Composition for "Az hoosh mi.." for soprano and violin, and was named the winner of the APNM competition/call for scores for "Az hoosh mi.." for soprano and violin.
Sky MacKlay's orchestra piece Dissolving Bands was awarded the Leo Kaplan Award, the top prize in the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards.
Bryan Jacobs' Dis Un Il Im Ir received Honorable Mention in the Conlon Music 2013 competition (Amsterdam). Le La en Le received First Prize in the Presque Rien 2013 competition (Paris).
Christopher Trapani was named the winner of the Third Jezek Prize in Composition, 2013.
Courtney Bryan's New Work for orchestra and recorded sound was commissioned by American Composers Orchestra Underground Ensemble, for a Carnegie Hall, New York, NY, 2015-16 premiere. Walking with 'Trane, a collaboration, was commissioned by Urban Bush Women, New York, NY, for 2014 premiere. And New Work for String Quartet was commissioned by Spektral String Quartet for Mobile Miniatures Project, for a Chicago, IL, 2014 premiere.
Nina C. Young's Remnants received the Audience Choice Award at the ACO's 2013 Underwood New Music Readings. Tanglewood Music Center has also commissioned new work from Ms. Young for the 2014 TMC Brass Ensemble.
Stylianos Dimou participated in the Royaumont Voix nouvelles composition course 2013, and the 5th Composers' Forum ['tactus 2013] with the Brussels Philharmonic; Mr. Dimou's L'allegorie de la caverne, for orchestra (2011-2012) was selected as the winning piece to be performed again by the Brussels Philharmonic in 2014.
The Ditson Conductor's Award is awarded for distinguished contributions to American music, and given annually by Columbia University. It was presented to Prof. Milarsky at Alice Tully Hall on November 15, during a concert by the Juilliard Orchestra conducted by Prof. Milarsky. The $5,000 award, which was established in 1945, was presented by the pianist Gilbert Kalish, the head of the Ditson advisory committee.
Hear the CU Orchestra perform music of Debussy, Strauss, and Prokofiev, under the direction of Maestro Milarsky, on Sunday, December 1st (8PM, Roone Arledge Auditorium) and again on Sunday December 8, 2013 (8PM, Miller Theater). Both concerts are free and open to the public!
The Department of Music congratulates Professor Ellen Gray on the publication of her book Fado Resounding: Affective Politics and Urban Life (Duke University Press). This ethnography of fado, Portugal's most celebrated popular music genre, shows how a musical genre can sediment, circulate, and transform affect, sonorously rendering history and place as soulful and feeling as public.
The book's introduction is currently available for preview and free download on Scribd.
"Lila Ellen Gray positions Lisbon's amateur fado scene in terms of all the contestation about what fado is and where the action is taking place. This positioning is a unique and valuable contribution to music ethnography, and Gray does major and convincing intellectual work arguing for 'amateur' scenes as paths into the deepest musical and ethnographic understandings of genre, style, performance, poesis, and the ways that sociality is lived and experienced through sound."--Steven Feld, author of Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra: Five Musical Years in Ghana
The Department of Music congratulates Ethnomusicology PhD candidate Adam Kielman, who has won three prestigious prizes for papers presented at academic conferences, in addition to a major research fellowship (Fulbright DDRA) for his work in China.
The prizes awarded to Mr. Kielman include:
The Hewitt Pantaleoni Prize -- Awarded by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society of Ethnomusicology (MACSEM) for the best student paper presented at their annual meeting held March 23-24, 2013 in Richmond, VA. Paper title: " 'Sounds like Home': Language and Place in Guangzhou's Modern Folk."
The Martin Hatch Award -- Awarded by the Society for Asian Music (SAM) for the best student paper on Asian music presented at the annual Society for Ethnomusicology national meeting held November 1-4, 2012 in New Orleans, LA. Paper title: "Xiandai Minyao: 'Modern Folk' in Guangzhou."
The Barbara Barnard Smith Prize -- Awarded by the Association for Chinese Music Research (ACMR) to recognize an outstanding student paper in the field of Chinese music, broadly defined, presented at the annual Society for Ethnomusicology national meeting held November 1-4, 2012 in New Orleans, LA. Paper title: "Xiandai Minyao: 'Modern Folk' in Guangzhou."
Mr. Kielman, who is also an alumnus of Columbia College (EALAC major, LAJPP performer), has also just successfully defended his doctoral dissertation proposal, entitled "Sounding Configurations of Difference in Postsocialist China." He is preparing to depart for field research in China with support from a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship, awarded in September 2013.
Congratulations to Mr. Kielman!
CU Alum Amanda Minks Publishes "Voices of Play: Miskitu Children's Speech and Song on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua"
The Department congratulates PhD program alumna Prof. Amanda Minks (University of Oklahoma, PhD in Ethnomusicology, Columbia, 2006), who has just published Voices of Play: Miskitu Children's Speech and Song on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua with the University of Arizona Press' "First Peoples: New Directions in Indigenous Studies" series (2013).
While indigenous languages have become prominent in global political and educational discourses, limited attention has been given to indigenous children's everyday communication. Voices of Play is a study of multilingual play and performance among Miskitu children growing up on Corn Island, part of a multi-ethnic autonomous region on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua.
Corn Island is historically home to Afro-Caribbean Creole people, but increasing numbers of Miskitu people began moving there from the mainland during the Contra War, and many Spanish-speaking mestizos from western Nicaragua have also settled there. Miskitu kids on Corn Island often gain some competence speaking Miskitu, Spanish, and Kriol English. As the children of migrants and the first generation of their families to grow up with television, they develop creative forms of expression that combine languages and genres, shaping intercultural senses of belonging.
Voices of Play, which began as Prof. Mink's PhD dissertation in Ethnomusicology at Columbia (with support from the Social Science Research Council), is the first ethnography to focus on the interaction between music and language in children's discourse. Minks skillfully weaves together Latin American, North American, and European theories of culture and communication, creating a transdisciplinary dialogue that moves across intellectual geographies. Her analysis shows how music and language involve a wide range of communicative resources that create new forms of belonging and enable dialogue across differences. Miskitu children's voices reveal the intertwining of speech and song, the emergence of "self" and "other," and the centrality of aesthetics to social struggle.
Amanda Minks is Associate Professor in the Honors College and is affiliated with the Department of Anthropology and with the programs in Native American Studies and Women's and Gender Studies at Oklahoma University. She earned the PhD in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University in 2006.
The Department congratulates 2006 Columbia Ethnomusicology PhD program alumnus Prof. David Novak (UCSB), who has just published Japanoise: Music at the Edge of Circulation (Duke University Press, 2013).
Noise, an underground music made through an amalgam of feedback, distortion, and electronic effects, first emerged as a genre in the 1980s, circulating on cassette tapes traded between fans in Japan, Europe, and North America. With its cultivated obscurity, ear-shattering sound, and over-the-top performances, Noise has captured the imagination of a small but passionate transnational audience.
For its scattered listeners, Noise always seems to be new and to come from somewhere else: in North America, it was called "Japanoise." But does Noise really belong to Japan? Is it even music at all? And why has Noise become such a compelling metaphor for the complexities of globalization and participatory media at the turn of the millennium?
In Japanoise, which began as a doctoral dissertation in Ethnomusicology at Columbia (with support from the Social Science Research Council), David Novak draws on more than a decade of research in Japan and the United States to trace the "cultural feedback" that generates and sustains Noise. He provides a rich ethnographic account of live performances, the circulation of recordings, and the lives and creative practices of musicians and listeners. He explores the technologies of Noise and the productive distortions of its networks. Capturing the textures of feedback--its sonic and cultural layers and vibrations--Novak describes musical circulation through sound and listening, recording and performance, international exchange, and the social interpretations of media.
Visit the Japanoise book website: http://www.japanoise.com/
David Novak is Associate Professor of Music at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and earned the PhD in Ethnomusicology in 2006, after which he served as a postdoctoral fellow in Columbia's Society of Fellows.
The Department congratulates Prof. Matthew Sakakeeny (Tulane University, Columbia PhD in Ethnomusicology 2008) has just published Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans (with artwork by Willie Birch)
Roll With It, which began as Prof. Sakakeeny's doctoral dissertation in Ethnmusicology at Columbia (with support from the National Science Foundation), is a firsthand account of the precarious lives of musicians in the Rebirth, Soul Rebels, and Hot 8 brass bands of New Orleans. The gripping narrative moves with the band members from back street to backstage, before and after Hurricane Katrina, always in step with the tap of the snare drum, the thud of the bass drum, and the boom of the tuba.
Matthew Sakakeeny is an ethnomusicologist and journalist, New Orleans resident and musician. An Assistant Professor of Music at Tulane University, he initially moved to New Orleans to work as a co-producer of the public radio program American Routes.
Read the introduction to Roll With It on Scribd.
Roll With It also features a supplementary website.
Published by Duke University Press in their "Refiguring American Music Series" in 2013
NEW YORK, October 17, 2013 - Columbia University Libraries/Information Services' Rare Book & Manuscript Library (RBML) is pleased to announce the acquisition of the collection of Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953). The Serge Prokofiev Foundation has chosen the RBML as the repository for the archival material under its control from Prokofiev's 18 years in the West.
The Foundation was established in 1983 by Lina Prokofiev, the composer's widow, to enrich public awareness of Prokofiev's life and work and to encourage research. (The organization uses a variant spelling of the composer's first name). After her death in 1989 at age 91, and the death of her sons Sviatoslav and Oleg, the work of the Foundation has been carried on by their descendants.
The collection includes Prokofiev's private and business papers from 1919 through May 1936, after which he returned to the Soviet Union with his family. Correspondents include conductors such as Sir Henry Wood and Sergei Koussevitzky; soloists such as Joseph Szigeti and Pablo Casals; composers such as Igor Stravinsky and Maurice Ravel; and chess grandmaster Jose Capablanca.
Curious about the Barnard College "Ethnomusicology track" in the Music Major? Read this carefully!
(Specific requirements for the BC Ethnomusicology track are below).
Barnard College is one of the few colleges in the US where you can complete an undergraduate major in the field of Ethnomusicology, specifically. This academic major track (please note that it does not focus on the performance of non-western music, although there are opportunities for doing this) provides a unique opportunity for BC students with a serious and scholarly interest in the field of Ethnomusicology. This track is especially intended to prepare students for graduate study and careers in music, anthropology, music business and technology, and library/information science, among other related fields.
This program offers undergraduates rich access to the faculty and resources of Columbia's highly-ranked graduate (MA/PhD) program in Ethnomusicology. The undergraduate offering has a long and distinguished track record as a "special major" at Barnard. In 2009, the special major was converted into a pre-approved major track within the BC Music major. (NB: Columbia College/GS students cannot pursue this track in the Music major; please contact Prof. Fox if you are a CC/GS student with a specific interest in pursuing Ethnomusicology.)