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Experimental music symposium features concerts and speakers

Media Contact

Jeff Tyson

George Lewis and Marina Rosenfeld perform Sour Mash, their collaborative vinyl composition released in 2009 on innova.

After Experimental Music, a symposium to explore current perspectives on experimental music studies, will bring scholars, performers and artist-practitioners from across North America to Cornell Feb. 8-11. In addition to academic presentations in Lincoln Hall, the symposium will feature two concerts of experimental music. All events are free and open to the public.

“This event is exciting because it brings some of the most innovative thinkers in experimental music to Cornell to present new research and ask questions about where this music might be headed – both in scholarship and beyond the academy,” said symposium co-organizer Benjamin Piekut, associate professor of music. “In terms of size and scope, this symposium is one of the first of its kind for experimental music studies, anywhere.”

Adds co-organizer Jeremy Strachan, visiting scholar, “Ithaca has such an active music scene, and thanks to the Atkinson Forum in American Studies, we’re able to bring internationally recognized figures like George Lewis and Raven Chacon to the wider community for a weekend of free concerts and talks.”

Lewis, Columbia University music professor, will deliver the keynote address, “New Music, New Subjects: The Situation of a Creole” at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 9 in the Guerlac Room, A.D. White House. Artist-practitioner talks will be given by Marina Rosenfeld, at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 9, and C. Spencer Yeh, at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 10, in B20 Lincoln Hall, where most of the symposium takes place.

The event opens with a concert by Lewis and Rosenfeld at 7 p.m. Feb. 8, in the lecture wing of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art. Lewis and Rosenfeld are internationally renowned composers, improvisers and sound artists.

A second concert, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m., features Raven Chacon, c_RL and Sarah Hennies and will take place at Casita Del Polaris, 1201 N. Tioga St. Both concerts are co-produced with Ithaca Underground.

The symposium is supported by the Atkinson Forum in American Studies with additional support from the Department of Music, the Cornell Electroacoustic Music Center, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art and Ithaca Underground.

Linda B. Glaser is a staff writer for the College of Arts and Sciences.