Great Scholarship at #SEMSEC2016

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We have already seen some tremendous scholarship this weekend, and there’s more to come. I was fascinated by archival and manuscript research by three students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Samantha Horn, Amanda Black, and Jamie Blake. Sadly, administrative duties and other distractions have kept me from seeing too many Florida State Colleagues’ presentations, but the buzz about them is always encouraging despite those frustrations. Fellow #HBCU folks will be glad to know that J. Wissler Elias from Florida A&M gave a fine presentation on reception of Mark Applebaum’s music on that campus. Tyler Sonnichsen, Victor Hernández-Sang, and Chris Ballengee guided us through the robustly diverse soundscapes of Washington D.C. and its connections to Paris, Trinidad, and a broad, inclusive Latino musical community. This morning, Les Gay endowed us with new ears for listening through a comparison of Sonny Rollins’ various recordings of “St. Thomas,” particularly his 1965 live video at Tivoli Gardens (though I’m still looking for a link to that video).

I was so pleased with the intersections and parallels in yesterday’s tightly focused session on Sound, Space, and Substance in Music and Ritual, a panel I put together. We always hope to generate those kinds of rich conversations, but this one was particularly productive. It will be exciting to continue that discourse.

Meanwhile, there’s so much more here than any one person can see or hear. It’s a great metaphor for a first trip to Trinidad & Tobago. The place is deep, complex, and masqued in many intriguing ways.


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