NYU Music Department Conference
February 16–17, 2018
Keynote address: Prof. Josh Kun, University of Southern California

This image is a photograph of an artwork made by Miss TANGQ. In the center is a red-silhouetted figure with a halo of yellow and smoke coming out of it upstretched, open-mouthed head. The figure also has white craft-feather wings. Inside the cut-out belly is another, black silhouette of a figure hanging by its feet as if dangling into the red figures stomach. Surrounding the red figure is a blue mosaic pattern with razor-wire spider webs in which the figure appears to be caught. Ringing the spider web is a wreath of wood, stone, and shells like an altar. At the base of the altar is a cut-out photograph of a bustling cityscape.

Credit: @missTANGQ / www.misstangq.com. Find out more at http://visionsfromtheinside.tumblr.com

What can sound-makers and -thinkers tell us about the role of music, sound, and silence in struggles against precarity and in the creation of sanctuary?

Precarious Sounds // Sounding Sanctuary, hosted by NYU’s FAS Music Department, will unfold over two days of panels, performances, and multimedia installations.

Featured events include a Friday afternoon keynote by Prof. Josh Kun (University of Southern California) about his work with music and housing justice in San Francisco and a multimedia exhibit in NYU Bobst Library’s Avery Fisher Center.

Eighteen presenters discuss colonial legacies of a naval base in the Philippines, soundscapes of precarity on the streets of Cuba, mediation of struggles in a French refugee camp, listening practices across the Mexico-U.S. border, the political potentials of sonic blackness, and silence as tool of oppression or nurturing refuge.

Over twenty composers, performers, and installation artists explore precarity and sanctuary through chamber pieces, found objects and sonic technologies, and participatory performances highlighting themes including ecosystems in danger, the limits of the human body, America’s history of enslavement, the surveillance state, and memory as precarity and sanctuary.

Co-sponsored by
NYU Center for the Humanities*
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS)*
Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Division of the Humanities*
Departments of:

Social and Cultural Analysis (SCA)*
Middle East and Islamic Studies (MEIS)*
Media, Culture, and Communication (MCC)*
Performance Studies

Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies*
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS)*
NYU Sanctuary Coalition

* We especially thank NYU Center for the Humanities, GSAS, FAS Division of the Humanities, SCA, MEIS, MCC, the Kevorkian Center, and CLACS for their generous financial contributions to make this conference possible.