Wesleyan University Music Department



This lecture series showcases new work by performers, composers, and scholars in ethnomusicology, musicology, music theory, sound art, and cultural history. The colloquia also invite dialogue with professionals working in arts education and in librarianship. The series is organized by Jane Alden.

All colloquium held in Adzenyah Rehearsal Hall 003 unless otherwise posted.


Fall 2019

Mark Slobin - Ethnomusicologist, Emeritus Professor, Wesleyan University
    "45 Years at Wesleyan and Beyond"

      September 26, 2019   4:30 p.m.   

Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music Emeritus, Mark Slobin is the author and editor of many books, on Afghanistan and Central Asian folk music, Jewish music, Yiddish culture, heritage music, community music, film music, and ethnomusicology theory. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, he twice received the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Book Award, and is a past President of the Society for Ethnomusicology and the Society for Asian Music. His most recent book, Motor City Music: A Detroiter Looks Back (OUP, 2018) provides the first-ever historical study across all musical genres in any American metropolis. Mark taught at Wesleyan from 1971 to 2016.


Emiliano Ricciardi - Musicologist, UMass Amherst
    "Unresolved: Luciano Berio Reads Bach's The Art of Fugue"

      October 3, 2019   4:30 p.m.   

Assistant Professor of music history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Emiliano Ricciardi completed a PhD at Stanford University in 2013. His main research area is the late Italian madrigal, particularly the settings of Torquato Tasso’s poetry. He is the director and general editor of the Tasso in Music Project (www.tassomusic.org), a digital edition of the musical settings of Tasso’s poetry, supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Secondary research areas include music in fascist Italy, the reception and practice of the twelve-tone techniques, and the reception of Bach’s music. Ricciardi is active as a violinist and a chamber musician.


Davesh Soneji - Social/Cultural Historian and Anthropologist, UPenn
    “Re-sounding Islam—Marking Religious and Aesthetic Pluralism in the Historiography of South
      Indian  Music” 

      October 10, 201  4:30 p.m.   Ring Hall

Associate Professor in the Department of South Asia Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Davesh Soneji’s research lie at the intersections of social and cultural history, religion, and anthropology. He is author of Unfinished Gestures: Devadāsīs, Memory, and Modernity in South India (University of Chicago Press, 2012), editor of Bharatanāṭyam: A Reader (Oxford University Press, 2010; 2012) and co-editor of Performing Pasts: Reinventing the Arts in Modern South India (Oxford University Press, 2008). At work on a new book on the social history of Karṇāṭak music from the late eighteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries, Prof. Soneji is also the co-founder and director of The Mangala Initiative, a non-profit organization centred on social justice issues for hereditary performing artists in South India.

Miya Masaoka - Composer/Visual Artist, Columbia University 
    “Sound: Its Context and Materiality”  

      October 24, 2019   4:30 p.m. 

Composer and sound artist Miya Masaoka (Associate Professor and Director of the Sound Art Program at Columbia University) has been creating works innovating areas working interactively with plants, insects, the body and physical space. She has exhibited at the Venice Biennale, MoMA PS1, Siggraph, the Chicago Contemporary Museum of Modern Art, Kunst Museum Bonn, Germany, the ICA Philadelphia, was a keynote speaker at NIME in Brisbane, Australia, will be in the Toronto Biennale 2019.  Her symphony has been premiered by the BBC Scottish Orchestra, and she has been commissioned by Bang on A Can, the Jack Quartet, and had work presented at Darmstadt. Her writings have been published by KunstMusic.

Alex Dea - Sound Artist/Composer, Java
   “The 3 R’s of Ethnomusicology and Avant-garde”

     October 31, 2019   4:30 p.m.

Ethnographer, composer, writer, and scholar of Javanese gamelan music and allied arts, Alex Dea holds a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University, and trained in composition with avant-garde “Bad Boys” La Monte Young, Terry Riley, and Robert Ashley. He learned voice culture with Pandit Pran Nath, master Hindustani singer. He performed in Young’s Theatre of Eternal Music, and was the first assistant for his masterpiece “The Well-Tuned Piano.” As an ethnographer, he has documented over 1,000 hours of video and 2,000 of audio, had permission to record in Yogyakarta Palace, and is the only non-Javanese to sing regularly in Surakarta Palace with title K.R.A.T Candradiningrat. As a composer-performer, he intertwines old classical and new imagined histories and futures from the lush flowerbed of harmonic overtones.

Laurie Anderson - Composer/Performer, New York     *This event is by invitation only
  “Using Filters for Strings and Voice: Live processing of instrument and voice, hardware and
    software, stories and electronics”

      November 7, 2019   4:30 p.m.  

Writer, director, visual artist, and vocalist Laurie Anderson has created groundbreaking works that span the worlds of art, theater, and experimental music. Internationally known from her 1981 single "O Superman,” she has pioneered a variety of performance art projects, focusing particularly on language, technology, and visual imagery. She has contributed music to dance pieces by Bill T. Jones and Trisha Brown and music for films by Wim Wenders and Jonathan Demme. Her 2018 recording with the Kronos Quartet, Landfall, won a GRAMMY Award.

 Anna Zayaruznaya - History of Theory/Musicologist, Yale University
    “Philippe de Vitry’s Da da da dum

      November 14, 2019   4:30 p.m.

A Wesleyan alumna from 2005, Anna Zayaruznaya is Associate Professor of Music at Yale University. Bringing the history of musical forms and notation into dialogue with medieval literature, iconography, and the history of ideas, her recent publications have focused on French and northern Italian music of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Zayaruznaya’s books include The Monstrous New Art: Divided Forms in the Late Medieval Motet (Cambridge, 2015) and Upper-Voice Structures and Compositional Process in the Ars nova Motet (Routledge, 2018). Her current project focuses on the poet, composer, public intellectual, and theorist Philippe de Vitry (1291–1361). Zayaruznaya is the recipient of publication awards from the Medieval Academy of America and the Society for Music Theory. At Yale, she co-convenes the interdisciplinary working group Medieval Song Lab. 

Cat Slowik - Sound Studies/Musicologist, Yale University
    "Audile Technique: Toward a Theory of Expert Listening"

      November 21, 2019   4:30 p.m. 

 Cat Slowik is a cellist and viol player who appears frequently in New York, DC, and New Haven. She performs as a member of the Smithsonian Consort of Viols, the Elm City Consort, the Yale Collegium Musicum, and the Yale Baroque Opera Project, and founded and directs the Yale Consort of Viols. In 2020 she will be a Smithsonian Chamber Music Society Fellow. She is completing a PhD in the music department at Yale University on “Cantus Firmus Techniques in English Instrumental Music (1540–1680)." She co-convenes Yale’s Sound Studies Working Group and co-founded the Yale Music Gender Equity Initiative.


Spring 2020

Lynsey Callaghan - Conductor/Educator/Scholar, Dublin
   January 30, 2020   4:30 p.m.  


Aaron Bittel - Q&A with the Music Librarian, Wesleyan University
   February 6, 2020   4:30 p.m.  


Eben Graves - Ethnomusicologist, Yale University ISM
   February 13, 2020   4:30 p.m.


Eliot Bates - Ethnomusicologist, CUNY
   February 20, 2020   4:30 p.m.  


Seth Cluett -Composer/Visual Artist, Columbia University
   February 27, 2020   4:30 p.m.


Zosha di Castri - Composer, Columbia University
   March 26, 2020   4:30 p.m.


Mehmet Ali Sanlikol - Composer/Performer/Scholar, NEC
   April 2, 2020   4:30 p.m.