Society for American Music Annual Meeting – Day 2

March 19, 2009 at 6:45 pm

Having given up on ever having reliable internet at a Marriott (for less than $12.95/day), the present post is being written at Leela’s European Cafe, 820 15th St. (hint: open 24/7, free wifi, 2 blocks from hotel). 

This morning was off to a stunning start with Ryan’s paper on Isaac Goldberg’s fraught biography of George Gershwin. I’d known that he was working on that for a while, and while I was familiar with most parts of the paper, was super impressed by Ryan’s dazzling command of the Q & A. Also, he had a full house, which always makes Amusicology proud.

Ryan’s paper was followed by one by Carol Baron (the panel was about Auto(Biography), chaired by Richard Crawford). Dr. Baron gave a wide ranging paper, touching on Emerson, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Toqueville, problems with the Committee on Cultural Diversity, and Ives’s own autobiographical writing. It went right up to its allotted time so unfortunately there wasn’t time for a more lively Q & A.

The third and final paper was given by David Nicholls, who is surely in the running for longest-trip-to-SAM this year (Bill Brooks might take exception). Prof. Nicholls looked at the curious silence surrounding Mollie Ives, and suggested how her death, of Addison’s disease, might inform our understanding of Ives’s own life. This is a particularly interesting problem for me right now, since my dissertation subject (John Kirkpatrick) wrote literally hundreds of letters to his mother but was hardly ever in direct communication with his father, who died while he was in his early twenties. So on the one hand, as Nicholls pointed out, studying a subject’s parents can only go so far, but on the other hands, it occassionally yields unique insights.

Lunch with Luci, Glenda, and Matt at Tamayo (1400 Larimer), an exceptional Mexican restaurant with a quite reasonable, quite filling, and quite delicious $17.00 prix fixe lunch. Highly recommended; I ancitipate a return in my future.

This afternoon I hammered out some stuff on the diss and tried to digest said lunch (successfully). Ran in to Dave Thurmaier, my illustrious teacher of ear training from Indiana. Saw Glenda Goodman give her paper about Algonquin Psalmody to a warmly receptive audience. Go Glenda! Attending a small dinner this evening to get caught up with some friends.

Shameless plug: tomorrow you can learn about the world of Ruggles at 9.30am if you make it to the modestly titled “Matchless” room at the hotel. I’m even playing the piano.

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Society for American Music Annual Meeting 2009 – Day 1 Society for American Music Annual Meeting 2009 – Day 3


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