16 Dec 2021
14:15  - 15:45

Location:
On Zoom

CONFÉRENCE : Chris Mustazza (University of Pennsylvania), Audio Frames: Alternative Assemblages of the Poetry Audio Archive

Chris Mustazza is Co-Director of the PennSound Archive, the world’s largest archive of recordings of poets, and teaches in the English department at the University of Pennsylvania. His work focuses on the media history of the poetry audio archive, sound studies, and experimental digital approaches to studying poetry audio, including machine listening and artificial intelligence. His book, Speech Labs: Collecting Poets’ Voices in the Era of Early Sound Recording, currently under review, is the first history of the poetry audio archive.

Chris Mustazza (University of Pennsylvania):

Audio Frames: Alternative Assemblages of the Poetry Audio Archiv

On Zoom:

https://unibas.zoom.us/j/68056142412

ID de réunion : 680 5614 2412

We are currently living in a golden era of access to poetry recordings. PennSound, for example, makes available over 60,000 recordings of poets, 6,000 hours of material, including poems performed by Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and T.S. Eliot. One might reasonably ask the question of how to navigate such a formidable resource—where to start? Most attempts to make sense of these archives begin from traditional genericizations that follow from the written poems as they were anthologized or categorized into movements. Such an approach ignores the form of the voices audible within the archive. This talk will focus on the ways in which poetry audio archives can be organized and structured using sound as the determining criterion. As part of such a process of categorization, one must acknowledge that there are ways of hearing, just as there are any number of ways to read. Listening methods discussed will include both close listening and distant listening, which involves using artificial intelligence and machine learning to help categorize poetry by its sonic genres. Our aim will be to situate poetic performance historically, to grapple with the sonic textures of the poems, and to trace this writing-speech agon into the current day, when questions of metadata and its attendant politics form the basis of how we move through archives.


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