I'll be giving a presentation entitled "The Trautonium: Electro-Music and Steel Romanticism" at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Musicological Society this November in Louisville. Centering on the early electronic instrument called the Trautonium and its role in debates about technology and music in Germany during the 1930s, the talk will be based on a chapter in my forthcoming book Instruments for New Music.
Deirdre Loughridge and I just spoke about our Museum of Imaginary Musical Instruments at "Bone Flute to Auto-Tune," a conference on music and technology organized by Deirdre at the University of California, Berkeley.
We plan on developing our thoughts further and eventually publishing them in the not-too-distant future. We're also hoping to add some new entries to the museum this summer.
Meanwhile, MIMI has been getting some lovely press on the web. Check it out!
On Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013 I took part in a panel discussion of "critical organology" at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society in Pittsburgh. The panel brought together a group of scholars working in different disciplinary and historical traditions whose research touches on the relationship between technology and aesthetics and the role of instruments in musical experience.
The panel was moderated by Emily Dolan and included Joseph Auner, Eliot Bates, J. Q. Davies, Jonathan De Souza, Bonnie Gordon, Ellen Lockheart, Deirdre Loughridge, and Roger Mosely.
On Saturday, January 21, I'll be taking part in a panel discussion with David Behrman, Andrew Raffo Dewar, Chris Madak, and Kenneth Goldsmith, preceding a performance of Behrman's composition "My Dear Siegfried." My contribution will focus on the role of musical technologies in the experimental tradition.
This event is part of the Sonic Arts Union Retrospective, a series of concerts and talks exploring the legacy of the late 60s-early 70s experimental music collective consisting of David Behrman, Alvin Lucier, Gordon Mumma, and Robert Ashley. It's presented by International House Philadelphia.
My paper "Electric Music of the Spheres: Jörg Mager’s Technologies of Enchantment" was presented at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society in San Francisco last month. This was a condensed version of one of my dissertation chapters on Mager, a pioneering inventor of early electronic instruments in Weimar Republic Germany. Thanks to AMS for allowing my paper to be presented in absentia and to Jeff Kallberg for volunteering to read it.