Lecture Series


Our lecture series for Winter semester 2021 are virtual, live streaming events, and held twice a month on alternating Wednesdays from 7-8 PM.  Links to join the live streams will be made available before each event. View videos of previous events here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Deep Listening Across Distance with Stephanie Loveless

Deep Listening — which encompasses bodywork, sonic meditation, and performance — is a creative listening practice developed by pioneering composer, Pauline Oliveros. In this talk, Stephanie Loveless (sound artist and director of the Center for Deep Listening) will consider what Deep Listening offers as a mode of connecting across distance and across difference. In addition to an inquiry into notions of “telepresence” within the philosophy and practice of Deep Listening, Loveless will discuss some of her own listening-based artworks, and facilitate a series of participatory exercises — exploring how acts of listening can attune us to ourselves, each other, and our surroundings.

Stephanie Loveless is a sound and media artist whose research centers on listening and vocal embodiment. Her recent projects include a mobile web-app for geo-located listening, and sound works that channel the voices of plants, animals, and musical divas. She has studied with pioneering composers such as Pauline Oliveros (with whom she completed a Certification in Deep Listening), Hildegard Westerkamp (as a founding member of the Vancouver Soundwalk Collective) and Diamanda Galás. Currently, she teaches courses on Deep Listening and ecologically-oriented sound art at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York, where she also serves as the Director of the Center for Deep Listening.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Physics of the Banjo with Dr. Joe Dickey

The American five-string banjo is unique among musical instruments in that many significant parameters that affect tone are easily adjusted. This is probably why so many banjo players fiddle with their banjo! The instrument is a combination of canonical vibrating systems (strings, and a circular membrane) and therefore more amenable to analysis and modeling than most other musical instruments (e.g., the violin). And yet, study of this quintessential part of American culture has been largely neglected. This talk should not only help fill this void but should also illustrate the procedure, utility and shortcomings of mathematical modeling. There will be only one equation, the wave equation. There will be illustrations of the dynamics and interaction of solutions to this equation in the strings and membrane. The banjo is also unique among musical instruments in that many of the parameters that affect tone are easily adjusted. The effects of a few of these parameters (head tension, bridge mass and where the string is plucked) on tone (brightness, decay and loudness) are calculated and generally corroborate the commonly held views in the banjo community.

Dr. Joe Dickey received a BS degree in physics from Drexel University in 1963, and a PhD in physics from The Catholic University of America in 1976. He worked in the Navy laboratory system from 1958 until 1996 and at Johns Hopkins University from 1996 until 2009. Most of this work was in structural dynamics and acoustic scattering. Dr. Dickey is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, member of Sigma Xi, and was a Congressional Science Fellow in 1983 – 84. He has published about 80 peer reviewed papers, several book chapters, and about 40 other publications. He was a visiting professor at the Catholic University of America and the United States Naval Academy. 

Dr. Dickey is also an accomplished banjo player. He performed for almost 20 years with Crabgrass, an Annapolis-based bluegrass group, and is currently a member of old-timey group Shenandoah Run. He is also a woodturner and keeper of an American Chestnut restoration orchard.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Musician’s Health with Dr. Christine Guptill

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Special Event: Women of Folkways Live Online Concert

The annual Women of Folkways concert will be presented in an online capacity this year. Stay tuned -details TBA!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The History of Women of Folkways

An exploration of the contributions made by women within the history of folk music and the Folkways Records label, presented in conjunction with the annual Women of Folkways concert.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The Sound from Above and Below: Independent Artists in the Streaming Music Era

with Dr. Brian Fauteux

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

SingAbility: An Essential Service to the Soul with Dr. Ardelle Ries

In the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic, along with many other such choirs across Canada and around the world, SingAble–the University of Alberta multigenerational inclusion choir–continues to offer choristers meaningful opportunities to express themselves through music, through singing and song. With sound health and wellness, diversity and inclusion at the heart of the SingAble concept, this session examines how this resilient community of singers has successfully been brought together to truly embody a philosophy that music is for everyone.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021