Emma Lebo Explores New Discipline Music


The Music at Pitt Podcast has been on hiatus while Pitt has been transitioning to remote learning, but we’re back and recording from the Lawrenceville Offices of the Department of Music (aka host Phil Thompson's home studio) and conducting interviews over zoom. Our guest for this episode is Emma Lebo, a senior Music Major who has been playing trumpet for 13 years and double bass for 12. During her time at Pitt, she has performed with the Varsity Marching Band, Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band, and Gamelan Ensemble. She is also a member of the national band fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi.

Emma began composing during her senior year of high school and is focusing on the Composition Track for her major. She has had several works performed, such as Awakening, Elements, and a setting of the Margaret Widdemer poem The Women’s Litany.

For her Senior Capstone Project, Emma is focusing on New Discipline music and its fundamental characteristics such as interdisciplinarity, performers as people with bodies, the concert hall designation, and the disregard for having their music fit into what is expected or considered to be correct. Her project comprises extensive research into primary and secondary sources related to New Discipline and earlier related movements such as Fluxus and Dada. She interviewed three composers whose work represents aspects of New Discipline: Cullyn Murphy, Laura Schwartz, and Emerson Voss. Each of these composers is also a Pitt graduate student or PhD graduate. As part of this episode we’ll hear excerpts from works by each of these composers.

Works heard in this episode

  • Murmur by Laura Schwartz, performed by the University of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
  • whereas by Emerson Voss, performed by TAK
  • disappearance of by Cullyn Murphy, performed by TAK