Apr 17Apr 18, 2021, 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Street Address Virtual

For the New Materialisms in Music and Sound – UT Austin Graduate Music Conference 2021, Ana María Ochoa Gautier, Tanya Kalmanovitch, and João Renato Orecchia Zúñiga will be the Keynote Speaker, Artist in Residence, and Guest Performer, respectively.

From left to right: Tanya Kalmanovitch, Ana María Ochoa Gautier and João Renato Orecchia Zúñiga

For more detailed information, visit the conference app.


Saturday, April 17

10–11:30am | Guest Performer: João Renato Orecchia Zúñiga

12–1:30pm | Panel 1: Between Sound and the Body: Reinterpreting Virtual Modes of Performance

2–3:30pm | Panel 2: The New Organology: Agents, Orientations, and Communities

4–5:30pm | Keynote Speaker: Ana María Ochoa Gautier

Sunday, April 18

10–11:30am | Panel 3: Dissonances: Mediating Radicality and Space in the Global South

12–1:30pm | Panel 4: Hearing Past, Present and Future: Critical Perspectives on Sound and Time in the Anthropocene

2–3:30pm |  Artist in Residence: Tanya Kalmanovitch

Music has long been considered in many bodies of scholarly thought to be ephemeral and immaterial. Historical musicologists have probed the ontology of music, describing it variously as an ideal (non-material) object, a text, or as located in the score or “musical work.” Ethnomusicology, on the other hand, has posited music not as a static object but as an always-changing process or an action, what Christopher Small calls “musicking.” However, musicological and ethnomusicological approaches alike have primarily depending upon linguistic paradigms. Additionally, both musicology and ethnomusicology have had a preoccupation with semiotics, and have centered their analyses around a core question: what is the meaning of music? Literature decoding musical meaning where scholars explore the discourses and narratives around various types of musics abound whether or not a connection to “culture” at large is established. 

Increasingly, work in musicology and ethnomusicology has engaged more critically with material and embodied understandings of music. Studies in this body of work have developed new approaches to understanding musical instruments, to the human body as a musicking agent, to music as understood through embodied movement, and to music as a material technology.  Far from simply abandoning or rejecting the linguistic turn, we are interested in approaches that intertwine the discursive and material registers in seeking to understand what music or sound do, rather than what they mean

Inspired by "new materialist” interventions, we invite you to critically bring music and sound back to the realm of things. We especially welcome presentations with a clear emphasis on expanding and putting pressure on the Western-centric topics and epistemologies that model much academic thought. Potential lines of inquiry include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical ways of apprehending music and sound: vibration, force, etc. (e.g. electronic music’s visceral feeling, music in torture, music/sound in space)
  • Considerations on Marxist historical materialism: material conditions as determinant of musical processes/products rather than or along with aesthetic or cultural ideals (e.g. songs to coordinate worker’s movements, WAM NGOs in “non-Western” countries)
  • Musicians or technicians of matter? Luthiers and instrument (New organology, materials used for instrument-building, craftsmanship), performers and the limitations/possibilities of the musical instrument, the tactility of music production
  • Musics’ material culture: merch, memorabilia, material music reproduction (e.g. CDs and LPs [all formats], scores and sheet music), fashion and trendiness
  • Music and material livelihoods: the music industry, the gig economy, busking, music and global flows of capital, musical commodities, muzak
  • Music, sound and space: acoustics, listening and spatiality, music and the city (e.g. urbanization processes and music scenes)
  • Subject-object relationships: the agentive object (e.g. instruments that “fight back,” overly sensitive microphones), musical instruments as bodily extensions, the body as musical instrument (the voice, mouth as resonating chamber, body percussion [flamenco palmas, hambone], beatboxing), sonic/musical assemblages and distributive agencies
  • Music and sound as a material tool for regulating human and non-human bodies: sound and protest, policing music and sound, noise ordinance, music as subjected to and as a means of surveillance

UT Austin Association of Graduate EthnoMusicology Students (AGEMS) Officers

Vicky Mogollón Montagne, Co-President, Ethnomusicology
Flannery H. Jamison, Colloquium Representative, Musicology 
Andy Normann, Colloquium Representative, Ethnomusicology
Golriz Shayani, Secretary/Treasurer
Rose E Bridges, Co-President, Musicology
Kyrie E Bouressa, Colloquium Representative, Musicology 
Amelia McElveen, Co-President (Fall 2020), Musicology
Flannery H Jamison, Colloquium Representative (Fall 2020), Musicology