Friday, November 02, 2007

Crack for Academics: AMS 2007 Post I

Greetings from Quebec City! This will be necessarily brief, as I hope to catch Margot Fassler's paper, "Hildegard's Ordo Virtutum: Theological Meanings and the Problem of Audience."

The highlight of the conference thus far (for me) was the Lecture-Demonstration: "Virtual Acoustics and the Recording of Joseph Haydn's Keyboard Music." While I had to miss the last half hour, I enjoyed the convergence of auditory and acoustic technology with musicology and aesthetics. The discussion brought up questions of authencity: Is it ok to be "inauthentic" yet strive for a different acoustic experience then what one would normally hear? Tom Beghin and his colleagues from McGill have tried to create recordings (through the recreation of original instruments and the virtual reproduction of acoustic environments) which emulate a historical listening experience. Yes, it is idealized and unmuddied by the realities that plagued Lobkowitz Palace and other such locations, but one does not buy a CD of Haydn keyboard sonatas so that they can hear the cook chasing the scullery maid in the background.

One of the better problems to have at a conference is wanting to be in three places at the same time. And while I was not "drinking at the opening-night reception" (or at least not at that moment), I did have to miss Phil Ford and friends during the Committee on Career-Related Issues. How lucky we are that Phil has reproduced his presentation over at Dial M, helping to make his point quite effectively. If blogging is "crack for academics" then I'm all for the addiction.

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Mostly Musicology, Teaching, and a bit of Miscellanea