Select Page

Heterophony: Texture, Technique, and Social Commentary

March 7, 2019
2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Keller Hall, Center for the Arts

Talk Description: This lecture is in two parts: the first draws from my research on the 1960s jazz avant-garde and musicians’ interests in heterophonic musical textures. I show how heterophony, technique and texture, satisfied a joint aesthetic and social/political goal for musicians and audiences. The parallels between textural and ethnic/racial difference in improvisatory experimentalism, are where aesthetics and social relations become intertwined.

For the second part, I perform original music that utilizes heterophony and “noise” in a solo electronic and improvised format. This performance segment is my own creative response to the historical precedents that I outline in the previous segment.

Biography: Kwami Coleman, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of musicology at the Gallatin School on individualized Study at New York University. His work is focused on improvised music, aesthetics, historiography, identity, and political economy. Kwami is also a pianist and composer, and released a recording called Local Music in 2017 of original music for trio plus field recordings captured in his home neighborhood, Harlem. His current book project is titled Change: The “New Thing” and Modern Jazz.

The Gay West: From Drug Store Cowboys to Rodeo Queens

The masculine ideal represented by the American cowboy is variously interpreted by spectators, dancers, musicians, and contestants at gay rodeos and country western dances across the U.S. Examining embodied gender practices within these communities, this talk articulates the sonic, social, and geographical spaces of the gay American West.

The Cruelty of Jazz: Toward a Hemispheric Politics of Sound

Rooted in concepts of affect and Empire, this paper argues that jazz operated in various 20th century Latin American settings as a vital touchstone bearing the risks and benefits of urban modernization, hemispheric geopolitics, and transnational cultural production, “cruelly” echoing the United States’ cultural, political, and economic dominance in the hemisphere and beyond. 

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
X