April 2018

Allegheny Chapter of the American Musicological Society

Saturday, April 07, 2018 • Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH


8:30 AM Registration and Refreshments

9:00 AM Opening Remarks by Chapter President, Michael Baumgartner

Session 1

Chair: Mark Durrand (The University of Akron)

  • Emily Theobald (University of Florida) – Sonorism and Urban Soundscape in Penderecki’s Pittsburgh Overture (!967)
  • Ryan Harrison (Ohio University School of Interdisciplinary Arts) – Perception and Ecocentric Performance Spaces: Environment in Matthew Burtner’s Aukslaq and John Luther Adams’s Inuksuit

Session 2

Chair: TBD

  • Bethany Goldberg (Youngstown State University) – Native Songbirds Take Flight: American Singers on the Italian Opera Stage During the Civil War
  • Stephanie Ruozzo (Case Western Reserve University) – Many a New Day Will Dawn: Changing Models of Integration in Broadway’s “New Golden Age”
  •  Christopher Lynch (Duquesne University) – The Creation of the Operatic Museum in New York City: Taxes and Figaro at the Met in 1940

12:30 PM Lunch Break

2:30 PM Business Meeting

Session 3

Chair: TBD

  • Kirsten L. Speyer Carithers (The Ohio State University/Capital University) – Hacking the Avante Garde: Cardew, Experimentalism, and the Culture Industry
  • Laura Schwartz (The University of Pittsburgh) – Confessions from the Killing Jar: “Coming out” as Reclamation and Selfcare
  • Paige Zalman (West Virginia University) – Performing Gender, Music, and Witchcraft in Early Modern England

5:00 – Award ceremony for West Virginia Press Prize for Best Student Paper


Kirsten L. Speyer Carithers: Hacking the Avant-Garde: Cardew, Experimentalism, and the Culture Industry

In the 1970s, Cornelius Cardew asserted that his experiments with graphic notation had been symptomatic of an elitist “disease,” with the musical avant-garde becoming just another bourgeois culture industry. In contrast to this oversimplification, I suggest a reading that provides a way out from under the us/them and high/low binaries of traditional accounts of culture industries: that is, thinking of experimental-music realizers as skilled hackers. These experts subvert their positions of lesser privilege by altering the system’s very parameters, thus exploiting the freedoms of experimentalism itself.

Bethany Goldberg: Native Songbirds Take Flight: American Singers on the Italian Opera Stage during the Civil War

While many facets of musical America were crippled during the Civil War, opera flourished in the 1860s. Italian opera companies in the United States were dealt a blow, however, by European singers who did not renew or canceled their contracts because of wartime fears. Several American singers took advantage of the void left by departing European stars to launch operatic careers during the early years of the war, especially with Jacob Grau’s troupes. A lucky few, including Clara Louise Kellogg and Catarina Morensi, secured lasting success on American and European stages that may have been unattainable without the war’s interference.

Ryan Harrison: Perception and Ecocentric Performance Spaces: Environment in Matthew Burtner’s Auksalaq and John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit

This presentation examines how Alaskan composers Matthew Burtner and John Luther Adams attempt to engage listeners in the perception of their environment. Burtner’s Auksalaq (2012) fosters active participation in a telematic work of art, in which traditional art, media, and information are synthesized within a networked connection between separate performance spaces. Adams’ Inuksuit (2009) challenges traditional performance spaces by placing performers and audience outdoors. I argue that Adams’ Inuksuit and Burtner’sAuksalaq provide compelling case studies of perception and environment because their compositions turn traditionally passive listeners into active perceivers of their virtual and natural environments.

Christopher Lynch: The Creation of the Operatic Museum in New York City: Taxes and Figaro at the Met in 1940

In July 1939, the Metropolitan Opera launched an effort to rebrand itself as a museum so that it would be granted the tax exemptions that New York’s museums received. One of the most important productions during the campaign was Le nozze di Figaro, through which the Met portrayed itself as dedicated to the preservation of historical works for the benefit of the public, and thus as a museum. The Met’s commitment to preservation, however, did not entail recreating historical production techniques. Indeed, to make its historical repertoire relevant to contemporary audiences, the Met employed techniques of modern stagecraft.

Stephanie Ruozzo: Many a New Day Will Dawn: Changing Models of Integration in Broadway’s “New Golden Age”

An oppositional binary has long existed between integrated and non-integrated shows. In the past fifteen years, however, composers have expanded the conventions of theatrical storytelling to include varying degrees of integration. In this paper, I explore the models and degrees of integration employed in modern musicals to contrasting effect to posit an end to the either/or theory of integration models. I conclude that we must not view 21st-century musicals through a lens that separates them into a binary of integrated and concept shows but interpret musicals through a multi-faceted lens taking into account the subtleties afforded by multiple coexisting models.

Laura Schwartz: Confessions from the Killing Jar: “Coming-out” as Reclamation and Selfcare

In her 2017 AMS lecture, Susan McClary compared the conclusion of Kate Soper’s dissertation —analysis of her piece Voices from the Killing Jar (2010-2012)—to McClary’s own experience of having to “come-out” as a woman in the field of musicology. While the phrase “coming-out” is never used in Soper’s dissertation, she describes acknowledging herself as a minority gender. By examining what I call ‘sonic confessional intimacies’ in movement VI. Interlude: Asta Sollilja, I argue that Voices from the Killing Jar is a crafted “coming-out” confession and a technology of selfcare.

Emily Theobald: Sonorism and the Urban Soundscape in Penderecki’s Pittsburgh Overture (1967)

Composed between his studies in sonorism – De Natura Sonoris No. 1 (1966) and No. 2 (1971) – Pittsburgh Overture falls squarely within Penderecki’s interest in this postwar experimental tradition in Poland. On the basis of Schafer’s concept of soundscape and Belgiojoso’s discussion of the Montreal harbor symphonies and their call for a city to listen to itself, I demonstrate the ways in which Pittsburgh Overture contributes to the urban soundscape through sonoristic musical elements and compositional choices. The Overture thus examines de natura sonoris [the nature of sound] both in its musical context and within a contemporary performative urban space.

Paige Zalman: Performing Gender, Music, and Witchcraft in Early Modern England

The indomitable power linking music and the forces of witchcraft played a fundamental role in signifying witches as inappropriately masculine, thereby othering them from traditional ideals of gender in early modern English society. Employing case studies of music written for witch roles in staged plays as well as the enchanting songs of historical people accused of witchcraft, this paper demonstrates that the substantial number of witchcraft accusations and prosecutions in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England were fueled, in part, by the unseemly displays of masculine power heard in witch music on and off the English stage.