FellowSpeak: "Community Carillon/Corporate Carillon"
Tiffany Ng, Richard and Lillian Ives Faculty Fellow, assistant professor of music
Throughout the twentieth century, carillons such as the bells in Burton Memorial Tower were erected by institutions on the promise of uniting harmonious communities and elevating the Everyman’s taste with Western classical music. Thanks to the invisibility of carillonists and of their agency, carillon concerts remain an uncontested musical practice on the social, cultural, architectural, and sonic landscape, while their power to construct exclusionary sonic communities functions in plain view and hearing. This work challenges the racialized and gendered boundaries that have constructed the carillon as a spatio-sonic tool for social harmony. Carillons served governments and corporations in Cold War-era technology development, cultural diplomacy, and corporate expansion, and if we listen carefully, we can hear their colonial entanglements.
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