AMS Preview – Part II (Ryan’s Turn)
In five short days it is wheels up for AMS. Indianapolis, I hope you’re ready! I always look forward to this annual pilgrimage to all things musicological: the papers, the events, the friends (old and new). I thought I’d dovetail (to use a frequent Q&A word) on Drew’s previous post and highlight some of the goings on that I’m particularly excited about.
I’m giving my first AMS paper this year on the Thursday afternoon session simply titled: “Jazz.” (Westin, Grand 1; 2-5 pm) The paper is titled: “Rewriting the History of (Symphonic) Jazz: Duke Ellington’s Arrangements of Rhapsody in Blue.” It draws on the Ellington chapter of my dissertation and considers the role of the Rhapsody in the early and late career of Ellington. The abstract can be found here. Though, to be honest, the format has shifted slightly due to constrictions of time. (Never thought I’d say that 30 minutes wasn’t enough!) Anyway, enough shameless self-promotion. I’m honored to be sharing the stage with my former University of Washington colleague, Vilde Aaslid, who will present her fascinating study of the jazz lament right after my paper concludes.
The great thing about giving a paper at AMS is, well, that you get to share your work with some of the best and brightest. The downside is that you also miss a bunch of great papers going on concurrently. If I could be two places at once I’d check out Emily Richmond Pollock’s “Italy, Atonally: The Modernist Origins of the ‘Canzona di Checco’ from Henze’s König Hirsch” (Marriott: Marriott Ballroom 5, 2 pm); Jonathan Bellman’s “Consumer Music as a Stylistic Context for Chopin” (Marriott, Indiana F, 3:30 pm); and Todd Decker’s “Bespoke Song-tailoring for Mr. Astaire, Courtesy of Messrs. Berlin, Gershwin, Porter and Kern” (Westin: Grand 5, 4:15 pm)
Thursday night, if you hadn’t already heard, is the second annual amsuicology no-host reception. I’m calling on all bloggers (Phil; Mark & Zach; Brian, Tyler, & John, Jake; Joe; Rebbecca; Judy; Dan; Frank & Matt;Matthias; and others that I’ve inadvertently missed!) , friends of bloggers, or just people looking for something to do, to come join us for a pint or two. We’ll be at Alcatraz Brewing Company from 8-10pm!
I plan to spend the morning at the Ellington panel on his late, extended works. (Marriott: Marriott Ballroom 1/2, 9-12 pm) Though, I may sneak out at points to drop in on two other sessions that seem right up my ally: “Exoticism in Shifting Contexts, 1840 to Today” Westin: Grand 4) and “Making Musical Communites” (Marriott, Indiana F).
During the noon hour I’ll be at the “AMS Committee on Cultural Diversity: Reception for Travel Fund Recipients.” (Marriott, Indiana A) I was a travel fund recipient back at the 2001 Atlanta meeting, an experience that made all the difference for my career as a musicologist. I look forward to this annual gathering, where I get to catch up with some of my favorite (and most supportive) mentors and friends.
Drew already mentioned the Friday afternoon papers by our Harvard colleagues, which I also highly recommend. I’d also like to point out SMT’s session titled Constructing “Japan” in Japanese Music: A Hundred-Year Analytical Survey (Marriott: Indiana F, 2-5 pm) as well as Steven Rings’s “A Foreign Sound to Your Ear: Bob Dylan Sings ‘It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding),’ 1964–2009” (Marriott: Marriott Ballroom 1/2, 2 pm) and Rachel Mundy’s “Mid-century France and the State’s Avant-garde” (Westin: Grand 4, 4:15 pm).
Friday night between 8-11 pm, I plan to check out portions of both the Cold War (Marriott: Marriott Ballroom 3/4) and Sound Studies (Marriott: Marriott Ballroom 5) panels. On the latter of these sessions, I’m looking forward to hearing the keen observations of former Dial “M” for Musicology blogger, Phil Ford, as well as fellow Harvard graduate student, Andrea Bohlman.
Friday night is also the Harvard party–er, reception (which finally made it into the program book this year!). Good times!
I always try to take some time on Saturday of AMS to get out of the hotel. I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet and I’m definitely not leaving until I hear Ayden Adler’s paper on “The Critical Response to Profitable Concerts: Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra, 1930–1950” (Westin: Grand 2, 9 am). And, I’ll be sure to be back to hear another University of Washington grad, Gwynne Kuhner Brown, deliver her paper titled “Interpreting African-American Spirituals through Arrangement and Performance: Eva Jessye and Jester Hairston” (Marriott: Marriott Ballroom 3/4, 2 pm). Then it is a mad dash to the other hotel to hear Glenda Goodman’s “Colonial Encounter and Atlantic Musicology: A Case Study in Seventeenth-Century Massachusetts” (Westion, Grand 5, 2:45 pm), before returning to the Marriott to hear papers by Kevin Kehrberg and Mark Burford who round out the “Out of the Roots” session that Gwynne’s paper began.
I always enjoy the annual business meeting and awards presentation (Marriott: Indiana Ballroom, 5:30-7 pm), even though it can get a bit long. Come see who all the big winners are this year!
Saturday night at AMS is meant for wandering around and catching up with old friends. Can’t wait!
My flight isn’t until Sunday evening, which gives me the opportunity to checkout a final set of papers without feeling like I need to rush away. I’m looking forward to the “Arrangements” session (Marriott: Marriott Ballroom 5, 9-12 pm). I also recommend hearing Davide Ceriani’s paper on Fascism and the Metropolitan Opera House during the 1920s (Marriott: Marriott Ballroom 3/4, 9 am).
OK, that’s that. Check back for a full report and to see if I actually made it to everything I’d planed to attend (unlikely!). It is always tough to pick and choose, especially when it is a joint conference. I hope others will chime in with their own recommendations for papers and activities beyond the hotels.
See you soon!