Past Event

New Materialist Approaches to Sound

October 19, 2019
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
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Scholars working under the broad umbrella of New Materialism have offered compelling reappraisals of the ways in which we know, interact with, and exist in the world. This scholarship also intersects with recent work on music and sound, which raises rich sets of questions regarding human agency, material, ethics, aesthetics, embodiment, and the subject/object dichotomy, among other issues. 

This one-day conference will consist of panels that comprise of papers with short reflections by a moderator, as well as an evening concert that includes opportunities for discussion. The concluding concert of work that engages with these themes from creative perspectives will afford attendees with an opportunity to consider and discuss issues concerning sound, material, and agency in a forum that contrasts with, but also complements, our events during the day. 




8:00am: Breakfast and coffee

8:45am: Welcome from the organizers

9:00–11:00am: Panel 1: “Histories” Moderated by Ted Gordon

1) Lee Cannon-Brown, “A Cultural Biography of the Metronome”

2) Jana Marie Perkins, “The Evolution of “An Ancient Strain”: Walter Scott’s Lay

of The Last Minstrel and The Substantiation of Poetry”

11:30–12:30pm: Keynote Nina Eidsheim

12:30–1:30pm: Break for Lunch (Provided)

2:00–4:00pm: Panel 2: “Theories” Moderated by Miya Masaoka

1) Callum Blackmore, “Rethinking Operatic Pastoralism”

2) Vivian Luong, “Music Analysis as Ethico-onto-epistem-ology”

4:30–6:30pm: Panel 3: “Identities” Moderated by Eric Lewis

1) Amara Lawson-Chavanu, “Keep the Fire Burning: Black Performance Matters

and the Destruction of Property and Capital”

2) “Silence, Simulation, and the Porous Surface of the Listening Self”, Florian


6:30–8:00pm: Break for Dinner (self-directed)

8:00pm: Doors for Performance/Event

8:30pm: Performance Moderated by: Seth Cluett

1) Tim Bruniges, On the subject of objects

2) Erik DeLuca, The Poet Singers

3) Chris Fisher-Lochhead, (grandFather)





The New Materialist Approaches to Sound Conference is made possible the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University, the Computer Music Center at Columbia University, and the Columbia University Arts and Sciences Graduate Council.