Class of 1960 Lecture
Professor Wayne Marshall
Technomusicology: Multimedia Storytelling


Cambridge-based ethnomusicologist, journalist, and DJ, Wayne Marshall, gives a lecture titled “Technomusicology: Multimedia Storytelling for 21st Century Musicologies” on Wednesday, October 15, at 4:15 p.m. in Bernhard Music Center Room 30 on the Williams College campus. This lecture is sponsored by the Class of 1960 Scholars Fund and is free and open to the public.

What do music studies look like — or better, sound like — when scholars and students work within the very forms they study? How might composing our own soundscapes, mashups, or YouTube-sourced video collages bridge what Charles Seeger famously queried as “the musicological juncture”? This presentation will examine the possibilities of what Marshall has been calling technomusicology, a pedagogical and creative approach toward, as Steven Feld puts it, “ways to make research into sound art, and ways to make sound art that performs and amplifies research.” Demonstrating how such software as Ableton Live brings new possibilities for audio and video editing into the musicologist’s toolkit, Marshall will offer examples produced by himself and his students — from subjects as varied as Mozart arias, Korean dance crazes, South African isicathamiya, and Jamaican dancehall — while reflecting on the implications of such explicitly creative experiments.

Wayne Marshall is an ethnomusicologist focusing on the interplay between sound reproduction technologies, Afrodiasporic cultural politics, and musical publics. He co-edited Reggaeton (Duke 2009) and has published in such journals as Popular Music and Callaloo while writing for popular outlets like Wax Poetics, The Wire, and the Boston Phoenix. Marshall has held fellowships and teaching positions at Harvard, MIT, Brandeis, the University of Chicago, and Brown, and he is currently a faculty associate at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. His multimedia musicology blog, wayneandwax, has been acclaimed in Rolling Stone, and as a DJ he has performed for dancing audiences in Boston, New York, Rotterdam, and Mexico City.

The Class of 1960 Scholars Fund, established at their 25th Reunion, brings eminent researchers from other colleges and universities to campus to give colloquia and work with students in the classroom.