Andiron Lecture Series - Composing Queer Music: Samuel Barber’s Despite and Still

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

4:00 p.m.

Room 252, Ridgway University Center, Eykamp Hall, University of Evansville Campus, 1800 Lincoln Ave, Evansville, IN

James Sullivan Headshot

James Sullivan is an assistant professor of music theory and double bass at the University of Evansville. He holds a PhD in music theory and a DMA and MM in double bass performance from the Eastman School of Music, as well as a BM in double bass performance and a BS in mathematics from Indiana University. Sullivan presents regularly at conferences, including those of the Society for Music Theory, the Society for Music Perception and Cognition, Music Theory Midwest, and the International Society of Bassists. His research focuses on rhythm and meter perception in post-tonal music. Sullivan’s Andiron Lecture brings together his interest in rhythm and meter with secondary interests in the music of Samuel Barber, queer music theory, and performance and analysis.

What does it mean to compose queer music? Can a piece of music sound gay? In what ways does a composer’s, listener’s, or performer’s sexuality influence the way one composes, listens to, or makes music? This talk will survey some answers to these questions from the fields of musicology and music theory and will show, as a case study, the impact that Samuel Barber’s sexuality had on the composition of his late song cycle Despite and Still.

A social gathering with beverages begins at 3:45 p.m.

In addition to the lecture, there will be an evening recital of works discussed in the lecture. The recital will feature guest tenor Matthew Valverde (Adams State University), guest pianist Allan Armstrong (Indiana University, Bloomington), and UE voice faculty Alanna Keenan.

For further information, call the series coordinator Annette Parks at 812-488-1070 or the William L. Ridgway College of Arts and Sciences at 812-488-2589.

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