Kyra Gaunt will discuss how incorporating embodied musical play into class allows the Black feminist imagination to surface—a radical, risky, and “ratchet imagination” (B. Love 2017) of girls becomes thinkable in tangible, rather than abstract, ways through collaborative play and improvisation. Surprise often reveals the glitches in power and domination, too. Play and power emerge from mindful curiosity and courage. From bodying a multiply-marginalized repertoire in musical blackness, the unexpected is allowed, sought not taught, revealing the extended mind of interoceptive/cognitive awareness.
Vijay Iyer considers how the category of music aligns with the category of the human; the two should be understood as mutually constitutive, unstable constructs. Like personhood, music’s status is not freely given. Rather, it is conferred through a contingent process in which “you,” the subject, experience an affective (which is to say, embodied) relation with the sensory trace of an other. Such a precarious sonic relation, which Vijay Iyer is calling musicality, can assume many forms; we must imagine not one but many musicalities, many modes of sonic mattering, coming into existence across the anthropocene. With this argument, Vijay Iyer asks that we unthink the totalizing category of “music,” and begin to theorize humankind’s innumerable, diverse, emergent musicalities, via a series of scenes of mutable, embodied sonic social life.
Kyra Gaunt, Assistant Professor of Music and Theatre at the University of Albany