COPA graduate course, open to undergraduates at the Junior and Senior levels by permission starting in January
Exploring the intersections of music, culture and nature, this course offers musicians a site to connect their musical practice to current environmental contexts, issues, politics and practices. By positioning music as a form of environmental design, this course aims to activate musicians as bold and creative problem-solvers building a liveable future. Readings and artist case studies will explore themes from the emerging field of ecomusicology (e.g. soundscape studies, acoustic ecology, and animal musicality) in the context of historical, traditional and contemporary musical performance and musical activism. Class sessions may include the music of Handel, R. Murray Schafer, John Cage, Tanya Tagaq and Emily Doolittle; field recordings, soundwalks, birdsong and site visits; and musical responses to environmental crises in New Orleans, Fukushima, and Alberta’s “tar sands”. Guests drawn from the Affiliated Faculty of TNS’ Tishman Environment and Design Center will spark interdisciplinary connections to environmental action in fashion, food, architecture, and urban design. Class projects may include: conceiving and developing musical solutions to environmental problems; assessing the environmental cost of concert music and concert-going; re-designing the physical environment of music-making; and media projects that animate alternative narratives about music and climate change.