Transforming Sounds/Converted Selves
How Music Changes in Time, Changes Us, and Changes Our Worlds
Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 5 pm
Thomas Forrest Kelly
Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music at Harvard University
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 5 pm
“Unison: Shared Inner Space and Collective Body in the Singing of Gregorian Chant”
Paula Pryce (Anthropology, UBC), with chant performed by the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, directed by Rupert Lang
Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at 5 pm
Professor of Historical Musicology, King’s College Cambridge
Thursday, January 11, 2017 at 5 pm
Tuesday, February 27, 2017 at 5 pm
Suzie LeBlanc soprano, and Alexander Weimann harpsichord perform Songs of Shakespeare
Tuesday, March 6, 2017 at 5 pm
Department of Psychology Macquarie University Australia
Tuesday, April 10, 2017 at 5 pm
Tanya Tomkins cello, and Eric Zivian fortepiano
About the Series
All cultures have stories of the miraculous transformations – of individuals, groups, and even physical landscapes – that can be wrought by instrumental music and song. In recent decades, the “early music” movement has been at the center of a revolution in the practice of western “classical” music that values the rediscovery of little known repertoires as well as the exploration of period instruments and historical performance techniques. Artists and listeners alike have been forced to question deeply rooted assumptions about how music from the past was constructed and the types of interpretive choices that make music from any period speak most eloquently. Meanwhile, multidisciplinary work in cognitive studies has been showing how human consciousness is routinely shaped and extended by external symbol-systems, media and instruments of all kinds, including those used in making music. This series of concerts, pre-concert talks, public lectures and podcasts will explore the modalities of such mind/body-converting and world-changing musical experience in the persons of players and listeners across time, and in the wider history of societies and cultures, using live performances of classical music from the Middle Ages, Renaissance / Reformation and Baroque periods as a laboratory. The project is a joint production of Early Music Vancouver, Green College at the University of British Columbia, and the Early Modern Conversions Project based at McGill University (and funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada).
Working with Green College
For over five years, EMV has offered an annual series of free lecture-demonstrations at Green College at UBC, related to our season programming and designed to inform and grow our audience base. These events have been increasingly well-attended and have stimulated a dialogue between the organization and the local community regarding the wider context of our activities in the community.
Green College is a graduate residential college at the University of British Columbia, and also a society of scholars and intellectuals stretching around the world, including hundreds of former residents, associated faculty, and distinguished visitors. The College’s reach extends far beyond its stunning location on the edge of the UBC campus in Vancouver, Canada, where it is nestled on a forested cliff overlooking ocean and mountains. It is an ever-expanding community, ready to welcome those with a passion for the exchange of ideas and an interest in the cultivation of academic and creative connections. This founding ideal is reflected in the motto of the College’s coat of arms: “Ideas and Friendship.”
The College was founded in 1993, thanks to a gift from Dr. Cecil H. Green. The College has formal ties with Green Templeton College, a sister institution at Oxford University also endowed by Cecil Green, and with Massey College at the University of Toronto. It was established as a centre for advanced interdisciplinary scholarship, with a mandate, reflecting Cecil Green’s vision, to bring together disciplines across the University through non-curricular programs and collaborations, while also opening the University to the wider local community.
The College’s commitment to exceeding the ordinary limits of academic discourse and to providing a venue hospitable to constructive thinking on all fronts is captured in the College’s tagline “Creating New Horizons.” Special visitors are invited each academic year to enrich conversations at the College and on the UBC campus, both through regular series of interdisciplinary talks and the prestigious Cecil H. and Ida Green Visiting Professorship program. The College also hosts a Writer-in-Residence program. With rare exceptions, the College’s academic programming is open to the whole UBC community and the general public. The College welcomes those from both within and outside the University to join residents and members for dinner in the Great Hall.
Dr. Mark Vessey has been the Principal of Green College at UBC since July 1, 2008. Prior to his appointment as Principal, Dr. Vessey had a long history with the College, having previously served as Acting Principal in 1998/99, and as a Faculty Member of Green College since 1994. Dr. Vessey obtained his B.A. in English at the University of Cambridge and his D.Phil. in Ancient History at the University of Oxford. He came to UBC in 1989 as an I. W. Killam Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of English, and was appointed to a faculty position in that department in 1990. He held a Visiting Fellowship at All Souls’ College, Oxford, in 1997 and was Visiting Professor of Augustinian Studies at Villanova University in 2000. In 2001 he was awarded a Canada Research Chair in Literature / Christianity and Culture (renewed in 2005), and in 2005 won a Senior Killam Research Prize at UBC. Before taking up his position as Principal of the College, he served as Associate Head and Chair of the Graduate Program in English. He is a member of the UBC Senate, representing the Faculty of Arts, for the triennium 2008-11.
Dr. Vessey’s research focuses on processes of text-, canon- and discipline-formation in the Latin Christian culture of the later Roman Empire (4th to 6th centuries) and their role in the shaping of longer-term discourses and institutions of “western civilization,” particularly those associated with “literature.” He has published in the fields of Roman history, patristics, medieval studies, Latin and English Renaissance literatures, literary theory, and the history of the book. He is married to Dr. Maya Yazigi and they have a daughter, Leila.