Conference Information

The forty-eighth meeting of the Society will take place at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY, in spring 2019. Robert Hasegawa (McGill University) will deliver the keynote address (abstract below), and Megan Kaes Long (Oberlin College and Conservatory) will lead the graduate student workshop. The call for papers can be found here.

College of St. Rose

David Mosher (Visiting Assistant Professor, College of Saint Rose) will handle local arrangements. The college is reached easily by car, as the capital city is located at the junction of I-87 and I-90; via Albany International Airport, which includes flights on major airlines including Southwest; or on multiple Amtrak trains per day from New York City and beyond.

Demystifying Contemporary Music: Perspectives on Research and Pedagogy
Robert Hasegawa (Associate Professor, Schulich School of Music of McGill University)
Music theory and analysis have fallen considerably behind creative musical practice, particularly in documenting the many compositional innovations of the past forty years. This period is marked by an increasing use of technology in both composition and performance, as well as a shift from the well understood parameters of pitch and rhythm towards the more complex and elusive world of timbre (often in conjunction with extended playing techniques and live electronic processing). Drawing on my own experience as a researcher and teacher, this seminar will explore the challenges and rewards of engaging analytically with this repertoire. Topics to be covered include working with living composers, sketch materials and compositional process, development of new tools (spectrograms, aural sonology), and reassessing the traditional assumptions of theory and analysis. I will also consider pedagogical issues linked to the analysis of contemporary music, with examples drawn from works by George Benjamin, Pascale Criton, and Rebecca Saunders.