Music Department Colloquium: Ron Kuivila—Bellona Times: the Turbulence of the Present

Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 4:30pm
Adzenyah Rehearsal Hall, Room 003 (Daltry Room), 60 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown


Bellona Times is a sound installation, its material includes two telephones experiencing non-standard ring signals, a low budget wavefield loudspeaker array indirectly diffusing sound so the walls of the site speak directly to the viewer, and a video projection of fragments of an FBI interrogation played at half speed in reverse. Bellona is the city in Sam Delany’s Dahlgren. It sits somewhere in the midwest in the midst of municipal and environmental breakdown akin to the first days of post-war Europe. Its sky is gray, its light unchanging, and its newspaper, The Bellona Times, is published at irregular intervals with random dates. That newspaper strikes me as a charming literalization of the present as a turbulence mediating between the past and the future and able to throw events in either direction; it was the originating impulse for the installation. But things took a turn to the topical as I became increasingly preoccupied with a video of a 3½ hour FBI interrogation of Danny Rodriguez, a stalwart of the January 6 insurrection. The colloquium will present the piece and discuss its gestation.

Composer and sound artist Ron Kuivila is Professor and Chair of the Music Department at Wesleyan University.

The colloquium is organized by Assistant Professor of Music John Dankwa and Assistant Professor of Music and Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies Saida Daukeyeva as part of the Music Department Colloquium Series.

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