Podcast: Adriana Helbig on Prison Sounds

Our guest for this podcast is Adriana Helbig, Associate professor of  Ethnomusicology in the Department of Music. Professor Helbig is an expert on the music of Eastern Europe and was the founder of Pitt’s Carpathian Music Ensemble. Her book Hip Hop Ukraine: Music, Race and African Migration is the first ethnographically based analysis of hip-hop in Ukraine and stems from long-term research among Ukrainian and African musicians in Ukraine and Uganda.

Recently professor Helbig has turned her attention to a new area of research known as Prison Sounds, leading to courses that draw on interdisciplinary approaches to analyze relationships between sound and incarceration. Her work in this field was recently featured in the University Times.

Students can currently register for two of these courses offered in the Spring semester: Music 1328 Creative Ethnomusicology and Music 0616 Bluegrass Ensemble. Music 1328 will be taught on site at the Fayette State Correctional Institution. Students interested in this course should contact Professor Helbig for a permission number as soon as possible because background checks and clearances have to be obtained prior to entering the facility (in other words, if you wait until add/drop deadline, you won’t be able to register).

On a final note, your intrepid host was battling the beginnings of a cold when we recorded this podcast, so apologies in advance for some coughs that couldn’t be edited out without affecting the flow of the conversation.