Research Thrives Amid Challenges of Pandemic

Doctoral candidate and Fulbright Scholar Steven Moon had to cut his research year in Turkey short due to the pandemic, but he has still made significant progress in exploring the intersection of culture and medicine in that country. Moon is studying the role of music in Ottoman healing practices with specific interest in how this approach transcends mind/body dualisms.

‘“What I find so fascinating in a lot of the Turkish research,” says Moon, “is that there are physicians really modeling an escape from this dualism and working towards a research model that allows for music to be understood as having an effect on the body as a whole.”’

Read more about Steven Moon and his research in the Dietrich School’s Snapshot Newsletter.

Doctoral candidate Danielle Maggio and Director of Jazz Studies Nicole Mitchell both received accolades in RollingStone for the Juneteenth on Bandcamp playlist. Maggio was recognized for her vocal performance on funk legend Betty Davis’ A Little Bit Hot Tonight. It was the first new song in 40 years by Davis, whose work is the focus of Maggio’s dissertation. Mitchell was recognized for her collaboration with spoken word artist Moor Mother on their recording Live at Le Guess Who.

See the full Juneteenth on Bandcamp playlist.

James P. Cassaro, Head of the Theodore M. Finney Music Library, will oversee a Grammy Museum Grant to digitize concert recordings made by the Department of Music between 1969 and 1989. The recordings include works by contemporary composers including the late David Stock and alum Reza Vali (PhD 1985), and complete operas conducted by Professor Emeritus Don O. Franklin. Cassaro told Pittwire, ‘“Having this music available digitally will demonstrate Pitt’s rich heritage of music performance as well as the Music Department’s cutting-edge programs in composition and performance…”’

Read the full article in Pittwire.

Pitt Honors College awarded Music Major David Zahniser a prestigious Brackenridge Fellowship to support his jazz album titled The Crossroads. Zahnhiser explains that he, “aims to tell the stories of the African-American and Jewish communities living in the Hill District from 1870-1968.” Zahniser, who was advised by saxophone instructor Kenny Powell, is putting the finishing touches on the liner notes which provide detailed descriptions of the thought process behind his creative choices. When the project is completed, he will release all the songs for free through his Web site.