Gallatin to Host “Celestial Twins?”—A Conference on the Relationships between Music and Poetry, Feb. 28


The Gallatin School of Individualized Study will host “Celestial Twins? Conversations, Performances, and Readings on the Relationships between Music and Poetry,” on Thurs., Feb. 28, 4-9 p.m., at the Jerry Labowitz Theatre.

Gallatin to Host “Celestial Twins?”—A Conference on the Relationships between Music and Poetry, Feb. 28
NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study will host “Celestial Twins? Conversations, Performances, and Readings on the Relationships between Music and Poetry,” on Thurs., Feb. 28, 4-9 p.m. at the Jerry Labowitz Theatre. The image, courtesy of Will Redman, is from his work "Book" (2006).

New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study will host “Celestial Twins? Conversations, Performances, and Readings on the Relationships between Music and Poetry,” on Thurs., Feb. 28, 4-9 p.m., at the Jerry Labowitz Theatre (1 Washington Place, at Broadway).

The event, presented by the Gallatin Writing Program in collaboration with the Poetry Society of America, is free and open to the public. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information about the program, call 212.998.7365 or email mollykleiman@nyu.edu. Subways: N, R (8th Street); 6 (Bleecker Street).

Music and poetry share terminology—lyric, rhythm, melody, line—as well as methods: composers write tone poems and poets write preludes and nocturnes. They are, as a recent critic labeled them, “celestial twins.” Like all twins, however, their relationship is one of difference and antagonism as much as similarity and harmony. Poets have often articulated a jealous desire to emulate music; composers often expressed the fear that to achieve expressive resonance between the music and the text is to risk mere imitation and to lose the “music” in the process. “Celestial Twins?” will question the immediacy of experience, the materiality of the score and of sound, the role of improvisation and voice, and the porous lines between hearing, reading, imagining, and remembering.

The event’s schedule is as follows:

4 p.m.-5 p.m.
Discussion with scholars, musicians, and poets, including Emily Fragos, Lisa Goldfarb, Wayne Koestenbaum, and Michael Zapruder; moderated by Gregory Erickson.
6 p.m.-7:15 p.m.
Wayne Koestenbaum reads selected poems; Mohammed Fairouz introduces new musical compositions, including settings of Koestenbaum’s work; poet Susan Howe and musician David Grubbs perform an excerpt from their collaboration “Frolic Architecture.”
7:30 p.m.-9 p.m.
Performances by Infuse Chamber Ensemble, jazz musician and poet Roy Nathanson, and songwriter, composer, and phonographer Michael Zapruder, who recently set poems to music for his album “Pink Thunder.”

The event is co-organized by the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study and the Poetry Society of America, with the support of the NYU Humanities Initiative.

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