Spring 2014 Department of Musicology and Ethnomusicology Lecture Series: Survivors on the Threshold of Music in Post-colonial South Korea

5:00 pm on Tuesday, March 4, 2014
6:00 pm on Tuesday, March 4, 2014
CAS 211 | 725 Commonwealth Avenue
A lecture by Joshua Pilzer, University of Toronto || Light reception immediately following talk || There are a plethora of interstitial spaces between the rarified categories such as music, sound, and speech, or dance and everyday movement–heightened speech, chant, stylized walking, and many others. These are meeting grounds in which the shared features of the categories–rhythmic, melodic, textural, timbral and so on–are brought to the fore. Why are they so common? I believe this is because the shared features and threshold spaces between these arenas of experience and practice are a primary means by which the kinds of agency, meaning, sentiment and sociality cultivated in music cross into other arenas of social life, and vice versa. This talk looks to these thresholds to understand something of the utility of music for Korean survivors of the more traumatic events of East Asia’s 20th century, in particular the Japanese military “comfort women” system and the Allied nuclear bombing of Japan. I introduce the idea of the ‘musical’, the idea of music as an adjective or a quality of human practice, to help explain this utility. Along the way I explain my basic perspective on the importance of the study of survivors’ music, the inquiry into and documentation of the musical lives of those who endure or have endured violence and traumatic experiences.