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Entangled. Being-with-music

Apr 25, 2024 | 06:00 PM

Guest lecture by Prof. Dr. Eric F. Clarke, FBA (University of Oxford)

From music and empathy, to the togetherness and emotional contagion of collective musicking, and the importance of music for people in distress and isolation, music’s capacity to connect is increasingly recognised and celebrated. And equally, as indicated by the extensive literature on music and subjectivity, music and emotion, and ‘strong experiences’ with music, music has long been recognised as affording intense, focused and apparently private experiences. But within what kind of conceptual framework might we understand these various manifestations of the connectedness of musicking? How might the intensely solitary form of connection that headphone listening in a darkened room represents be reconciled with the manifestly socially connected musicking of festivals, clubs, orchestras, choirs and bands? And is solitary listening really solitary? Starting from a broad perspective on organisms and their environments I make the case for understanding being-with-music in terms of entanglement, and for the various kinds of productive and problematic entanglements that music affords. Entanglement seems to be ‘in the air’ at the moment - from quantum physics and biology to aesthetics - and there are undoubtedly some pitfalls to avoid in distinguishing between more technical and more metaphorical uses of the term. But with that risk in mind I join the anthropologist Tim Ingold, the musician Björk, and the biologist Merlin Sheldrake in considering what entanglement might afford conceptually, and what might be learned from fungi.

Time & Location

Apr 25, 2024 | 06:00 PM

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Department of Musicology and Media Studies
Am Kupfergraben 5
10117 Berlin
Room 501