2014-15 CAI Events
Fume Fume: An encounter with a traditional dance from Ghana
April 13, 2015
4:00 -5:30 PM Africa Room
Presenter: Joseph Sheehan
Traditional music in Ghana often combines song, rhythm, and dance into an immersive, communal experience, shared by people of different ages, backgrounds, and musical abilities. In this experiential and informal presentation Dr. Sheehan will share a recreational dance from southern Ghana named Fume Fume. Be prepared to sing a song, perform rhythms, and try some dance movements! While learning the music, we will uncover relationships between movement, language, and rhythm; and see how the musical structure allows for creativity and flexibility. We will also discover a wonderful approach to performance practice that contrasts with many Western musical activities.
Composing Inner Resonance: Contemporary Musical Settings of the Passion
March 16, 2015
4:00 -5:30 PM Africa Room
Presenter: Zvonimir Nagy
The accounts of the Holy Week Gospel narratives have inspired composers throughout music history to set the narrative of Christ's Passion to music. From cross-cultural and cross-denominational perspectives, the presentation will unveil a selection of more recent Passion music by present day composers. The discussion will offer a window into the composers' creative world as it arranges a moderated dialogue between the sense of the composer's musical representations and music's ultimate manifestations at the crossroads of tradition and innovation.
Experiencing the Religious Music of J.S. Bach, Then and Now
February 26, 2015
4:00 -5:30 PM Power Center, Section A
Join Benjamin Binder, Associate Professor of Musicianship, for an afternoon of music and conversation on the religious music of J.S. Bach. The passions, cantatas, and sacred works of Johann Sebastian Bach are regularly performed on concert stages today. These performances may profoundly move us, but to what extent are we really having the same experience as Bach's congregation when they heard these pieces as part of their worship services in St. Thomas Church, Leipzig almost 300 years ago? In this session, we'll reflect on the many differences between the musical, cultural, and religious environments of Bach's 18th-century Germany and those of our own time. We'll also sample some recordings and videos of modern-day approaches to presenting Bach's religious music that deal with this historical divide in interesting and sometimes provocative ways.
Gregorian Chant: Liturgical Music and Catholic Intellectualism
December 10, 2014
Chapel of the Holy Spirit
Reception following in Union 613
The quietness within the monastic walls provided adequate space for chanting and creativity. It also offered the monks a favorable environment for the invention of a system used to visually represent aurally perceived sacred sounds through the utilization of symbols called neumes. Drawing on chant examples from the 9th through the 12th centuries, Sister (Dr.) Marie Agatha Ozah will discuss the ingenuity of these monks as they created the neumatic notations and their use even in contemporary liturgical music. We will sing a few simple chants, limiting ourselves only to the Gregorian chant, from the Graduale Romanum. This presentation will take place in the University Chapel in order to give the participants the opportunity to experience this music within the ambient in which the repertoire is usually performed.
Memory, Time and Sacred Proportion in the Music of Guillaume Du Fay
November 18, 2014
Professor Jessica Wiskus will lead attendees through an experiential encounter with the influential 15 century Renaissance composer, Guillaume Du Fay. We will listen to his musical masterpiece, Missa Se la face ay pale. A beautiful and haunting work, the sacred symbols within the music begin to reveal themselves only after careful study. From the philosophy of Plato to the visionary writings of St. Augustine, we will explore some of the thinking that informs Du Fay's musical imagination, focusing on the way that his music uses proportion to create an overlap of "past" and "present" and lead the listener to an intimation of eternity. Finally, we will listen several times to the Gloria of Du Fay's mass, experiencing for ourselves the rhythms and repetitions that express the music's sacred meaning. As usual we will enjoy cocktails and hors d'oevres in a relaxed and collegial setting. Faculty, staff, and graduate students are welcome to attend. Space is limited.