Music & Public Life

Lectures and Discussions

WESeminar: Pop Music Producers & The Real World--A Dysfunctional Marriage

Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 3pm

CFA Hall

Award-winning songwriter and record producer Carl Sturken '78 discussed his experience in the pop music industry. Mr. Sturken's career has included making music for such artists as Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, and Rod Stewart, as well as discovering and signing current pop superstar Rihanna.


John Troutman: In Honolulu...There is Music Everywhere--Making Meaning of Hawaiian Guitar Culture in the Era of the Overthrow

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 at 4:15pm

Daltry Room (Music Rehearsal Hall 003)

John Troutman, Assistant Professor of U.S., Cultural, Public, & American Indian History at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, talked about the culture of Hawaiian guitar music.


Instrumental Influence: A Discussion of Musical Trends in Political Advertising

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 4:15pm

CFA Hall

Using data from the Wesleyan Media Project, this presentation analyzed the content of current political ads and the types of music they contain. The discussion highlighted music's role in political advertising today and the emotions they help convey, and included numerous audio/visual examples from the 2010 midterm elections and the 2012 presidential election.


A Talk by Ben Ratliff of The New York Times

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 4:15pm

Daltry Room (Music Rehearsal Hall 003)

Ben Ratliff has been a jazz and pop critic for The New York Times since 1996 and has written three books: The Jazz Ear: Conversations Over Music (2008); Coltrane: The Story of a Sound (2007) a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Jazz: A Critic’s Guide to the 100 Most Important Recordings (2002).


Richard Kostelanetz Lecture

Friday, December 7, 2012 at 4:30pm

CFA Hall

Richard Kostelanetz, the noted literary artist and author of over 100 books, including the first biography of John Cage, discussed the social dimension of John Cage's work.


Time Stands Still: Notation in Musical Practice

Wednesday, April 3 through Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Vocal Constructivists, a London-based choral group directed by Wesleyan University Associate Professor of Music Jane Alden, explores idiosyncratic notation as a form of social practice, the scores supplying open-ended vocabulary for collective discourse. The group was be in residence for a three-day festival dedicated to the performance and interpretation of graphic and text scores. Featured composers included Mark Applebaum, Pauline Oliveros, Michael Parsons, and Wesleyan Music Department faculty Anthony Braxton, Ronald Kuivila, and Paula Matthusen. Events included student workshops, an evening concert, and a symposium of scholarly papers.

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