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Editorial StaffDecember 1, 20213min
Alvin Lucier, John Spencer Camp Professor of Music, Emeritus, died on Dec. 1 at the age of 90. Lucier received his BA from Yale University and his MFA from Brandeis University. He joined the Wesleyan faculty as a visiting professor in 1968 and as an associate professor in 1972. He taught here for 43 years before retiring in 2011. A pioneering composer, Lucier was at the forefront of American avant-garde music. He lectured and performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. In 1994 Wesleyan celebrated his career with a five-day multimedia festival, Alvin Lucier: Collaborations, which included new work…

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Olivia DrakeMay 17, 20214min
In honor of revolutionary composer, experimental musician, and professor emeritus Alvin Lucier's 90th birthday, several Wesleyan faculty, staff, and alumni participated in a 27-hour-long performance of Lucier's paradigmatic work "I Am Sitting in a Room." Lucier, the John Spencer Camp Professor of Music, emeritus, retired from Wesleyan in 2010 and earned a Master of Arts ad eundem gradum from Wesleyan in 1979. Lucier personally chose 90 colleagues, friends, and former students to participate in the event, of which 15 are acquaintances from his time at Wesleyan. The concert spanned from 8 p.m. Thursday, May 13 to 11 p.m. Friday, May…

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Olivia DrakeNovember 23, 20203min
During the COVID-19 pandemic, most of Wesleyan's musical activities and classes were canceled, drastically adjusted, or moved to virtual platforms. Fortunately, for Wesleyan's Javanese gamelan classes, students were still allowed to meet in-person as long as they followed strict guidelines: wear a mask and disposable gloves, social distance, and frequently use hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes. "The university made all of these available to the students in the World Music Hall, where the gamelan meets," explained Winslow-Kaplain Professor of Music Sumarsam. "The gamelan instruments were set up six feet apart, and the students were required to maintain that distance while…

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Olivia DrakeNovember 2, 20203min
Four faculty, two alumni, and one graduate student participated in the virtual Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Meeting held Oct. 22–31. As part of a panel addressing contemporary musical issues in Iran, Bridgid Bergin MA '17 spoke about the Iranian Female Composers Association (IFCA), which was established in 2017 by three female-identifying Iranian composers: Anahita Abbasi, Niloufar Nourbakhsh, and Aida Shirazi. IFCA supports Iranian female-identifying composers by encouraging organizers and ensembles in Iran and beyond to commission and engage these composers in collaborations, while also discovering and mentoring young female composers who are fighting against all odds to become contemporary classical…

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Olivia DrakeOctober 12, 20202min
A new album created by pianist and composer Noah Baerman, director of the Wesleyan University Jazz Ensemble, features more than 80 minutes of performances honoring his friend and former student, vocalist Claire Randall '12, who was murdered in December 2016. Love Right, produced by Resonant Motion, Inc. (RMI) Records, showcases songs written by Baerman alongside more than 40 Wesleyan-affiliated instrumentalists and singers who navigate a broad multitude of musical styles. It was released on Oct. 9 and is Baerman's 11th album. "Love Right is by far the most stylistically eclectic thing I've ever done," Baerman said. "I've incorporated different styles…

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Olivia DrakeAugust 21, 20202min
Nadya Potemkina, adjunct associate professor of music, placed third in The American Prize competition, in the category of orchestral programming. The American Prize—Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award in Orchestral Programming—honors the memory of the great Lithuanian conductor Maestro Vytautas Marijosius, who served as the music director of the Lithuanian State Opera and the director of orchestral activities at the Hartt School of Music. The prize recognizes and rewards "the best achievement in the unique field of orchestral programming, where the selection of repertoire by knowledgeable, creative and courageous music directors builds orchestras and audiences, educates young people and adults, and enriches…

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Olivia DrakeJuly 6, 20207min
Several faculty have recently authored or co-authored books, book chapters, and articles that appear in prestigious academic journals. BOOKS AND BOOK CHAPTERS Eric Charry, professor of music, is the author of A New and Concise History of Rock and R&B through the Early 1990s (Wesleyan University Press, 2020). Robert "Bo" Conn, professor of Spanish, is the author of Bolívar’s Afterlife in the Americas: Biography, Ideology, and the Public Sphere (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). Anthony Ryan Hatch, associate professor of science in society, is the author of three book chapters: “The Artificial Pancreas in Cyborg Bodies,” published in The Oxford Handbook of…

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Olivia DrakeMay 10, 20202min
Sumarsam, Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music at Wesleyan and a Fellow at Yale Institute of Sacred Music, is an expert on the history, theory, and practice of Indonesian music and theater, and a performer of Javanese gamelan and puppetry. Sumarsam's presentation was part of ISM's "Reflections from Quarantine" series. He was interviewed live through the Zoom platform by ISM Fellows Program Director Eben Graves. Sumarsam explained that his current research focuses on how “people—commoners—use performing art, and life of passage rituals for practicing their religion in their everyday lives.” From that angle, he looks at the early existence of performing arts…

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Olivia DrakeApril 13, 20202min
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Wesleyan canceled all spring semester events, and courses moved to an online format. Wesleyan's Piping Performance course, however, welcomed the Wesleyan community to "attend" their midterm performances on April 7 through the Zoom platform. "Our organ class is thriving in spite of our transition to online classes," said course instructor Alcee Chriss, artist-in-residence and university organist. "It is a particular challenge to teach organ when none of your students have access to one. Many of the students have opted to give their performances on piano for this semester." Six of the 13 students wrote original…

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Olivia DrakeMarch 23, 20202min
Beginning May 4, 2020, Roger Mathew Grant will succeed Nicole Stanton as Dean of the Arts and Humanities division, and beginning July 1, 2020, Janice Naegele will succeed Joe Knee as Dean of the Natural Sciences and Mathematics division. The announcement was made by Rob Rosenthal, interim provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. Roger Mathew Grant, associate professor of music, received his undergraduate degree from Ithaca College and his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. In his recent book, Peculiar Attunements: How Affect Theory Turned Musical (Fordham University Press, 2020), he considers contemporary affect theory in relation to European…

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Olivia DrakeFebruary 3, 20202min
In celebration of Olin Library's recent acquisition of virtuoso Jin Hi Kim's scores for Living Tones, the Music Library and Music Department hosted a day of musical and sonic exploration on Feb. 1 titled Hidden Volumes and Living Tones. Jin Hi Kim, adjunct assistant professor of music, is known for introducing the kŏmungo (a six-stringed Korean zither) into the American contemporary music scene. The Guggenheim Fellow composed a series of compositions for chamber ensemble and orchestra using her "Living Tones" philosophy, which holds that each tone generated is treated with abiding respect. Wesleyan currently owns 16 of her scores, written…