Friday, April 20, 2018

Election Information for Saturday's Meeting

Elections for the Chapter will be held on Saturday, April 21st at the Business Meeting. Voting will be conducted by paper ballot. The slate of nominees is as follows:

Jacquelyn Sholes (re-election)

Program Chair
Karen Cook (The Hartt School/University of Hartford)

Student Representatives (vote for 1)
Miklós Veszprémi (Yale University)
Cat Slowik (Yale University)
Eric Elder (Brandeis University)

Offices are described in Article V of the Chapter Bylaws.
The program for Saturday's meeting is here.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Spring 2018 Chapter Meeting (U Mass Amherst, April 21)

AMS-NE Spring Chapter Meeting
Saturday, April 21st, 2018
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Room N610, Life Science Laboratories Building (LSL)
Amherst, MA
**Will be updated with bios and abstracts as they become available.**

9:15 - 9:45 a.m.  Refreshments and Registration

Morning Session: French identity, Identifying as French

9:45 a.m.                Welcome

10:00 a.m. "American Perspectives on the Fauré Centennial, 1945: The Writings of Aaron Copland, Elliott Carter, and Irving Fine”
Heather DeSavage (University of Connecticut)

Heather de Savage holds a Ph.D. in music history and theory from the University of Connecticut. Her primary research considers Gabriel Fauré’s American reception, with a focus on activities in Boston; she has presented portions of this research, and her work on biblical exegesis in the late motets of Heinrich Schütz, at numerous conferences. Publications include items for the Nineteenth-Century Music Review, among them a review article on new editions of Fauré’s vocal music, and a review of the Bärenreiter critical edition of his orchestral works; co-authored articles address harmonic text painting in Liszt’s lieder (Gamut), and performance practice in fifteenth-century Franco-Flemish chanson (Early Music). In progress is an article on American performances of Fauré's music for Maeterlinck’s Pelléas et Mélisande. Beyond her scholarship, Heather is a dedicated classroom instructor and has taught various courses in classical and popular music at UConn, and was the 2017 recipient of the Outstanding Adjunct Award for the School of Fine Arts. This semester she is also teaching a music history course at the University of Hartford, The Hartt School.

10:40 a.m. “‘Snobs in Search of Exotic Color’: Blackness and Subversion in the Appropriation of Jazz in Interwar Paris”
Uri Schreter (Harvard University)

This paper explores the appropriation of jazz in the 1920s by a group of French composers known as Les Six and its relation to their avant-garde image. It has often been claimed that these works blurred and transgressed racial borders. However, I demonstrate that by presenting a diluted, “white” form of jazz as an exotic symbol of blackness, they actually served to reinforce those borders. Unlike past studies on this topic that have focused either on socio-historical context or on musical analysis, my paper investigates textual sources, music scores and recordings side-by-side, in order to account for the distinct aesthetic characteristics of various sub-genres, as well as the cultural connotations associated with them. Additionally, I explore an important venue that has been so far completely neglected: the French music-hall. Songs and revues have often been mentioned in studies about Les Six, but the music itself has never been seriously examined. By comparing scores and recordings from the French music-hall with recordings of black jazz and works by Les Six, I demonstrate that some famous works touted as being influenced by jazz actually drew on popular French music.
The reception of jazz in Paris provides a unique vantage point for understanding the crystallization of French perspectives on race. After it rapidly conquered popular entertainment venues, jazz began to infiltrate other domains of Parisian cultural and intellectual life, including the musical avant-garde. Its risqué and modern character appealed to many audiences, but it also sparked turbulent debates about race, class and national identity that reflected anxieties in the aftermath of World War I. French society was purportedly “color-blind,” inspiring hundreds of African Americans to immigrate to Paris; but as the appropriation of jazz reveals, French notions about blackness were expressed in nuanced ways that perpetuated long-standing exoticized representations of the black other.

 Uri Schreter is a PhD student in historical musicology at Harvard University. Prior to Harvard he studied at Tel Aviv University, where he received his MA in history and his BA in composition and musicology. His MA dissertation explored the cultural and musical appropriation of jazz in interwar Paris. His interests span the fields of twentieth century music, French music, jazz, electronic music, Jewish music and music in Israel. He is the recipient of numerous academic awards, including the Martin Gehl Foundation Grant for Research of French History, a research scholarship from the Thomas Arthur Arnold Fund for Excellence in Historical Research, and a scholarship in musical composition from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation.

11:20 a.m. “Musique Alexandrine: Guillaume Crétin’s Deploration and the French Royal Court”
Jeannette Jones (Boston University)

12:00 - 2:00p.m.      Lunch Break
2:00-2:20        Business Meeting and Elections

Afternoon Session: Ideals and Idols on Stage and Screen

2:20 p.m. “The Sweet Life, Song, and Sound: “Patricia” in La dolce vita
Melissa Goldsmith (Westfield State University)

The Italian film La dolce vita (1960) became internationally famous after it won the Palme d’Or (Golden Palm), the highest distinction, at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival. It was the sixth close collaboration between director and writer Federico Fellini (1920–93) and composer Nino Rota (1911–79), whose creative process involved sitting together as Rota composed original music and arranged previously composed songs. Before Rota began working on the film, Fellini selected composer Pérez Prado’s (1917–89) song “Patricia” (1958). Rota’s arrangement of the chart-topping hit accompanies pivotal narrative moments as protagonist Marcello, a journalist, gallivants in the worlds of Rome’s most jaded rich and famous.
By using autograph sources that include Rota’s arrangements of “Patricia” (housed in the Nino Rota Collection at the Giorgio Cini Foundation in Venice), my paper explores the song’s structural and dramatic role in the film, Rota’s compositional techniques and approach to arranging, and Fellini’s use of the song within the context of the film’s sound. Previous literature, like Peter Bondanella’s The Films of Federico Fellini (2002) and Richard Dyer’s Nino Rota: Music, Film, and Feeling (2010), just briefly explains the film’s structure and use of “Patricia.” Fra cinema e musica del novecento: Il caso Nino Rota: Dai documenti (Between Cinema and Twentieth-Century Music: The Case of Nino Rota: From the Documents, 2000), edited by Francesco Lombardi, discusses Rota’s work and “Patricia” within the context of the film’s narrative. This paper is the first to offer an analysis that considers the film’s music, visual, and sound tracks. It is also the first to give attention to the history of “Patricia,” in addition to Rota’s scoring, Fellini’s overdubbing the film’s sound with Rota’s arrangements, Fellini’s sound sources (for example, a jukebox and an RCA album), as well as Fellini and Rota’s sense of play with music.

Melissa Ursula Dawn Goldsmith is a Visiting Lecturer/Associate Professor in Westfield State University’s Music Department/College of Graduate and Continuing Education. She holds a Ph.D. in musicology from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and she specializes in American vernacular music, film music, and twentieth-century music aesthetics and criticism. Goldsmith’s recent books include Listen to Classic Rock! Exploring a Musical Genre (under contract, ABC-CLIO, 2019), Hip Hop around the World: An Encyclopedia (forthcoming, ABC-CLIO, 2018), and The Encyclopedia of Musicians and Bands on Film (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016). Her articles and reviews have appeared in American Music, Choice, Fontes artis musicae, The Journal of Film Music, The Journal of the Society for American Music, Music Theory Online, Naturlaut, Notes, portal, and Screening the Past. Goldsmith is also a songwriter, music engineer, and multi-instrumentalist for her sound recording company, Dapper Kitty Music. Her music and spoken word recordings have received national airplay

3:00 p.m. “Ferruccio Busoni: Architect of Sound"
Erinn Knyt (University of Massachusetts-Amherst)

While approaching death in spring 1924, Ferruccio Busoni reportedly confessed to his pupil, Gottfried Galston, that it had been a dream from his youth to become an architect rather than a musician. However, as the son of musicians, his path in life had seemed predetermined. Although Busoni never realized his aspiration to design buildings, he became an architect of sound. An architectural mindset became scaffolding for the way he approached music, influencing elements from form to acoustics, harmony, color, and timbre.

Relying on a close reading of an incomplete essay from 1916, “Thoughts about Expression in Architecture,” in addition to analyses of Doktor Faust (1925), the final movement of the Piano Concerto (1904), and recordings of Busoni’s performances, the article reveals how architecture inspired some of Busoni’s most innovative timbral and acoustic choices.  In Doktor Faust, Busoni created a sense of three-dimensionality by thinking about ways pitches could come from different directions to create a “horizon” of sound. In addition, he created the illusion of distant tolling of cathedral church bells with traditional acoustic instruments. In the final movement of the piano concerto, inspired, in part, by sounds of men and boys singing in the Strasbourg Cathedral, Busoni played with the contrasts between the timbres of an all male choir and a virtuosic piano soloist.  As a performer, he created a sense of architectural shape through a play with register, note doublings, and the pedal.

This article thus provides the first comprehensive view of how architecture informed Busoni’s creative activities. In the process, the article expands knowledge about relationships between architecture and music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Erinn Knyt is assistant professor of music history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She received her B.A. in Music (Music History and Piano Performance) with highest honors from the University of California, Davis in 2003, an M.M. in Music from Stanford University in 2007, and Ph.D. in Music and Humanities from Stanford University in 2010.

Knyt specializes in 19th and 20th century music, aesthetics, and performance studies and has written extensively about Ferruccio Busoni. She has articles in the Journal of the Royal Musical Association, American Music, the Journal of Musicology, the Journal of Music History Pedagogy, the Journal of Musicological Research, Musicology Australia, 19th-Century Music, and Twentieth Century Music, and has presented papers at conferences throughout the U.S. and abroad. Her book, which was published in 2017 with Indiana University Press, explores Busoni’s relationship with early and mid-career composition mentees, including Jean Sibelius, Edgard Varèse, Otto Luening, Louis Gruenberg, and Philipp Jarnach.  Her book was awarded an AMS 75 Pays Endowment Book Subvention Grant.

3:40 p.m. “Operatunistic Gains: Reconciling Public Perceptions of
Opera in Contemporary England”
Allison Smith (Boston University)

In the postmodern era, dialectics concerning the perceived repositioning of elite and popular art have implications in contemporary opera, especially in England.  In an attempt to reconcile opera’s perceived elite status with its past as a popular art, The English National Opera (ENO) produced Operatunity, a 2003 docu-reality series that ​conducted a nationwide search to find someone within the United Kingdom without formal opera training who could be coached to sing in a professional production of Verdi’s ​Rigoletto​ with a year’s training.  Alexandra Wilson has argued that Operatunity was ultimately a failure for two reasons: firstly, the contestants who won Operatunity, Jane Gilchrist and Denise Leigh, did not end up having professional opera careers and secondly, the locus of the power remained in the ENO, an elite opera institution, creating a top-down imposition of opera on the public.  While I concur with Wilson’s second point, I argue that, although Operatunity itself was unsuccessful, Gilchrist and Leigh were successful in reconciling elitism conceived to be inherent to opera with the public through allowing the public to experience opera through amateurs; amateur vocal production underscores opera as a popular art and helps create a space for audiences to listen to opera outside of the elite space of the opera house.  First, I will borrow from Michel Foucault’s concept of institutional power and Henri Lefebvre’s spatial triad to theorize these elite and public spaces and how power is negotiated in them via vocal production.  Secondly, Judith Butler’s and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s conceptions of performativity and periperformativity, respectively, will assist in my analysis of how Gilchrist’s and Leigh’s performances operated in both spaces. I will ultimately argue that because Gilchrist and Leigh were able to combine amateur vocality with opera, they were able to reconcile opera with the public in a way that Operatunity, particularly the ENO, could not.

Allison Smith is currently a PhD student in Historical Musicology at Boston University.  She received a B.A. in Saxophone Performance from the University of Mary Washington in 2014, graduating magna cum laude.  She studied in Doug Gately’s studio.  She received an M.M. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in Historical Musicology in 2017.  Her thesis, entitled, “Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism, Censorship: Reflections on Religious and Political Radicalism in John Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer,” focused on Adams’s musical treatment of the Palestinian and Jewish narratives in contexts of audience reception, J.S. Bach’s Passions, and Erik Satie’s Gymnopédies.  
Continuing her work in contemporary opera, Allison has recently expanded her research interests to contemporary British chamber opera and dialectics considering religion, gender, and the body.  She has presented her work at conferences at UMass Amherst and CUNY, and has published a conference report in Bach Notes.  In addition to her PhD studies, Allison currently teaches a survey of Western music history to graduate students.

4:20 p.m.                Refreshments

The evening reception will be at the University Club (243 Stockbridge Rd)--a short walk from the LSL building.