First off: apologies for the recent blog silence. In the past month-ish, I have returned from Berlin to New York, then moved from New York down to North Carolina. I'm starting a PhD in musicology here at UNC Chapel Hill, home to all of these great professors and all of these great grad students. It should prove to be an interesting transition, and the hunkering down to do some hardcore study will probably necessitate, alas, fewer posts. I'm also not exactly sure what direction this blog will take. I started it almost two years ago in San Francisco, at the time when I was applying for grad schools. The initial idea was to do reviews plus something else -- whether that something else was snarky editorials, comments on the scene, or quasi-musicological speculation. I wanted to view Chicago through the New York lens, and then I went over to Berlin and took a look at that from an outsider's eye as well.
I'm at a weird position where I started doing music criticism after I started doing musicology -- and never had the intention of becoming a full-time music critic. The blog started off as a fun project (and, I'm not going to lie, a way to get tickets) and then I had the very, very fortunate experience of doing professional work for truly excellent publications. Now that I am devoting so much time to academia, we'll see what this becomes. I can promise you now that this will never be one of those whiny-grad-student-blogs. I also have little interest in publishing my research in this format -- there's a whole different world for that, one that I am keen to be a part of. However, I will talk occasionally about interesting things in my classes, cool stuff coming up at the university, and might even try to demystify what goes on behind the walls of a musicology institution.
The Triangle Area, as it's called, probably does not have quite as vibrant a musical scene as Berlin, but what does? So you'll see fewer reviews here and probably more responses to the classical news -- one of the things I started the blog to do and have strayed a bit from. If you are musician or presenter in the area, feel free to let me know what you're doing. There are some very interesting things coming up at the university as well as at Duke, and I'll keep you informed of things that catch my eye (and ear).
For now, I'll tell you that I'm taking two seminars this semester (along with a methodology class and probably French) -- Professor Evan Bonds's course on Haydn and Professor Garcia's course on Afro-Latin music. You can read descriptions of the program's offerings, including those classes, here. In September, I'm presenting a paper on Bernd Alois Zimmermann and the atomic bomb at UC Berkeley's Music In Divided Germany conference, which will be attended by some terrifyingly distinguished colleagues (read their and my abstracts here).
I will leave you with a picture of the two new additions to the new household -- Coco & Igor
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