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Research in Music Series: A Talk by Timothy Johnson

Professor Timothy Johnson, Ithaca College

Friday, Oct. 18, 2019  2:30pm   ILC, Room N255   FREE

Research in Music Series: A Talk by Professor Timothy Johnson, Ithaca College

Caroline Shaw's Musical Interactions with Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawings in Partita for 8 Voices

In Partita for 8 Voices Caroline Shaw incorporates texts from Sol LeWitt’s wall drawings at MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) but also reflects and reacts to these artworks musically. She engages with wall drawings in terms of content, construction, and conception—extending well beyond the textual borrowings on the surface. The talk will focus on relationships between Shaw’s Partita and the artworks that inspired her composition. Johnson's analysis of Shaw’s composition focuses on the texts she incorporated from LeWitt’s instructions for creating these drawings as well as the way that she interweaves vocal sounds to reflect the artistic shapes produced by the execution of these instructions by drafting technicians. LeWitt specified lines drawn from points on a wall to create each image; Shaw specified musical lines that interact to form musical ideas based on these images. Professor Johnson will illustrate his talk with images of LeWitt’s artworks and musical examples from Shaw’s Pulitzer-Prize winning piece.