posted for Elizabeth Hoover, graduate student in musicology
For over a year now I have been working with Madelyn Roehrig, the Education Specialist in Adult Studies at the Carnegie Museum of Art, in order to create an educational program in which music and art take center stage together. Due to my background in art history and my interest in using this discipline to explore music, the wonderful Joan McDonald recommended my name to Madelyn in the summer of 2007. Ever since then, Madelyn and I have been brainstorming possible lecture topics and performance scenarios to present at the museum.
The project really came to fruition this summer with the arrival of "Abstract Art before 1950: Watercolors, Drawings, Prints and Photographs," an exhibition featured at the museum until October 18, 2008. Not only did it provide an interesting time period for which to discuss similarities in music and visual art, but it also offered a unique space in the galleries for performance.
On October 2, 2008 from 6-8 pm, I will join Robert Bailey, a PhD student in the History of Art and Architecture Department at the University of Pittsburgh, in a discussion of abstraction in art and music in the first half of the twentieth century. From expressionism to futurism to Dada and surrealism, we will explore the role and function of abstraction in the arts. After our lecture, the program will conclude in the exhibition gallery with performances by two talented composers/performers in our music department. Kerrith Livengood will perform Density 21.5 by Edgard Varése and Ben Harris will perform 59 ½ Seconds for a String Player by John Cage. The two will then come together in a performance of Cage's 4'33".