Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 12:00pm - 2:00pm
701C Dodge Hall, Center for Ethnomusicology, Columbia U Morningside Campus (Broadway & 116th St.)
The Center for Ethnomusicology at Columbia University Presents:
Instrumentality: Technologies of Voice in the New Orleans Brass Band
(Associate Professor of Music, Tulane University, and alumnus, Columbia PhD program in Ethnomusicology)
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Thursday April 10, 2014
Center for Ethnomusicology, 701C Dodge Hall
Columbia University Morningside Campus (Broadway at 116th St.)
Matthew Sakakeeny is Associate Professor of Music at Tulane University. An ethnomusicologist, journalist, and musician, Matt is the author of the book Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans (Duke University Press, 2013) and articles in Ethnomusicology, Black Music Research Journal, and other publications. He graduated from the Columbia University ethnomusicology PhD program in 2008.
The instrumentality of musical instruments is to act as a voice unmoored from language. Linguistic anthropologists have argued that speech acts produce subjectivity through vocal sound, and instruments extend this sonic materiality into domains where semantic meaning is augmented or even replaced by musical voicings. In New Orleans, the instruments of the brass band are sound technologies utilized to communicate particular messages to a community of listeners. In the local tradition of the jazz funeral, musicians determine the emotional register of the procession: mournful hymns regulate the slow march to the gravesite and upbeat popular songs signal the transition to celebratory dancing after burial. The musicians not only organize the memorial by changing tempo and repertoire, they communicate to the living and the dead through the material sound of their instruments. Black New Orleanians occupying public spaces where lynchings, race riots, segregation, and gentrification have taken place "give voice" to these submerged histories by marching and dancing to the beat of the brass band. And the most recent generation of musicians has drawn upon hip-hop, integrating the direct language of rap into a polyphony of voices that includes horns, drums, and group singing. In this case study of the brass bands of New Orleans, a holistic approach to sonic materiality integrates the spoken, the sung, and instrumental sound in a densely layered soundscape that creates meaning and value for radicalized subjects of power.
The Center congratulates Columbia Ethnomusicology PhD program alumnus David Novak.
Prof. Novak (UCSB) has just published Japanoise: Music at the Edge of Circulation
(Duke University Press, 2013).Visit the Japanoise website
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.
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?
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. read more »
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 Center for Ethnomusicology Congratulates our graduating GSAS students!
Kevin HoltPhD Degree:
The Department of Music congratulates alumna Dr. Maria Sonevysky (PhD,
Ethnomusicology, 2012). Dr. Sonevytsky has been appointed as Assistant
Professor of Music at Bard College, beginning in 2014. Prior to taking
up the position at Bard, Dr. Sonevysky will be a Postdoctoral Fellow at
the Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at the University
of Toronto for 2013-14. read more »
The Center for Ethnomusicology congratulates ethnomusicology graduate program alumnus Tyler Bickford
(PhD, 2011, With Distinction), who has been appointed as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of English (in Children's Literature and Childhood Studies) at the University of Pittsburgh. read more »
Warm congratulations to our two most recent PhD graduates in Ethnomusicology, Dr. Brian Karl and Dr. Simon Calle,
both of whom defended dissertations during the 2011-12 academic year. Dr. Karl defended in November, 2011; Dr. Calle in May 2012. Abstracts of both dissertations are below.
______________________________Simon Calle: read more »
Congratulations to Dr. Lauren Ninoshvili
(PhD, 2010, Ethnomusicology), who has accepted a two year appointment
as an American Council of Learned Societies New Faculty Fellow in the
Department of Music at New York University!
Ninoshvili is an adjunct professor of music at Barnard College
(2010-12), teaching courses on music history and offering a thesis
seminar for Barnard Special Majors in Ethnomusicology. read more »
The Center for Ethnomusicology and the PhD Prorgram in Ethnomusicology at Columbia warmly congratulate Dr. Farzaneh Hemmasi
(PhD, 2010, Ethnomusicology), who has accepted an appointment as Assistant Professor of Music (tenure track) at The University of Toronto.
Dr. Hemmasi is currently an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the
Penn Humanities Forum at the University of Pennsylvania.
___________ read more »
The Center for Ethnomusicology and the Graduate Program in Ethnomusicology in the Department of Music at Columbia University
Annual Report for 2007-8
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2007-8 has been a very busy and successful year for the Center for Ethnomusicology and the Ethnomusicology graduate program at Columbia, and there is an abundance of good news to report!
read more »