AMS notes

Phil Ford

This week (starting Thursday) is the big AMS annual hoo-hah. A few things to note about that:

1. On Friday at 7:30 a.m., I and a bunch of other people are going to get together for breakfast in whatever passes for a hotel restaurant at the venue. The main point of this breakfast is to get people who work on sound studies (a.k.a. auditory culture) to meet one another. I got the idea from telling graduate students I know from various institutions that they should meet one another, and at this point a few other people in the biz are coming as well. The thing is, we all work on some sound topic (or on the whole complex of issues related to sound — performance, recording, media, orality, etc., which I’ve been writing about lately) in isolation — each of us might be the only persona at our respective institutions who works on this kind of thing, but there are more than a few of us in musicology as a whole, and maybe it would be nice to meet up, work on our identity and institutional visibility within the AMS, that kind of thing. So, there’s a breakfast, 7:30, Friday morning, in the Renaissance Hotel restaurant. If you’re interested in coming, let me know at fordp at indiana dot edu.


2. I’m doing a short presentation on music and torture at a lunchtime SMT “Scholars for Social Responsibility” panel. (Though anyone who knows me might be amused at the thought of me being associated with “responsibility,” social or otherwise.) This is on Friday, 12-2, and as I did last year for my presentation to the AMS Committee on Career-Related Issues panel, I’ll get Typepad to publish the text of my talk on the blog while I’m away. Not a cheery subject, I grant you, but an important one, and something I’ve written about a few times on this blog.


3. I’m also reading a full paper on Saturday afternoon at 2 pm. It’s on the Beats home recordings and how we can listen to Kerouac, Ginsberg, and John Clellon Holmes fashioning a jazz-based hipster identity, despite the fact that they cannot carry a tune in a paper bag. Lots of unheard Beat craziness. And it’s what might be called a sound studies paper (see no. 1, above).


4. This isn’t about the AMS, actually. Typepad updated its software, and for some reason the proxy address stopped working. works just fine, but those of you who bookmarked might have noticed it’s not there anymore. Adjust your bookmarks accordingly.


5. And 5, it’s election day tomorrow! Not that I’m going to vote — I’m not a citizen, so for me the whole thing i merely a spectacle I cannot influence. Just as it is for everyone non-American in the world holding his or her breath, waiting to see the outcome. Helen voted yesterday (Indiana allows early voting). She waiting in line for two hours — a heavy, heavy turnout. Something is happening out there; I guess we’ll find out what soon. No-one left the line, everyone was very patient and friendly, someone even came by with cookies for all the people waiting to vote. There’s all kinds of election-related viral videos I could post, but at such a moment as this it behooves us to return to the classics:

Sam is lured into self-destruction by the absence of melodic resolution. This, ladies and gents, is American greatness.

About Phil Ford

Chairman of the Committee for the Memorial to the Victims of Modernism
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2 Responses to AMS notes

  1. Can’t wait for the big confab – I’ll be there on the SMT side, but scheduling allowing, I’ll pop in to your paper.
    And hey – drinks all around.

  2. Kariann says:

    I missed the discussion on auditory cultures/sound studies at AMS (as I’ve been writing like mad and ignoring the larger musico-blogosphere), but I’d love to get involved. Please let me know how I can get signed up.
    Was it just me, or was AMS more pleasant and fun than expected?

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