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Duke University Arts

7 Words: Music and Philosophy

Jan 24, 2013

7 Words: Music and Philosophy

The intersection of music and philosophy is the focus of a series of events at the end of this month. The 7 Words series begins on Tuesday, January 29 in Duke Memorial Chapel with a performance of original music inspired by Joseph Haydn's composition The Seven Last Words of Christ. A videoconference with the French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy follows on Thursday, and the series ends on Friday with a symposium on contemporary philosophy and music.

All events are free and open to the public.

8 pm Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Duke Memorial Chapel

The Galuppi Quartet and Olivier Dejours will present the world premiere of an original composition intertwining ancient music, contemporary music, and an unpublished text by philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy. The work explores the genre of the musical palimpsest while proposing a new kind of melodrama, one that investigates the role of the voice in musical composition across the ages. The Galuppi Quartet, which specializes in both ancient and contemporary music, has also developed artistic and pedagogical initiatives in France that have been tested on many stages and in education settings.

4 pm Thursday, January 31, 2013
FHI Garage, Bay 4, Smith Warehouse

Seminal French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy will lecture via videoconference, in an event co-organized by Romance Studies, the Literature Program, and the Franklin Humanities Institute. Nancy's work, which questions politics, ontology, and aesthetics, belongs to the tradition of Heidegger, Nietzsche, and Derrida. Most of his books have been translated into English, including his meditation on sound and music, à l'écoute, or Listening. He recently collaborated with composer Sergio Perezzani on "Au bord du sens" for the Stuttgart Contemporary Music Festival, and his texts have been set to music by Michael Levinas ("Dies Irae") and Mark André (Noli me tangere).

The videoconference will be in French with a subsequent Q&A period in both French and English.

2-5 pm Friday, February 1, 2013
FHI Garage, Bay 4, Smith Warehouse

Hosted by the Center for Philosophy, Arts, and Literature (PAL), the symposium will explore the role played by music in modern reflections on aesthetics. Participants will debate and discuss the possibilities and limitations of concepts such as musical meaning, music as a form of language, and the ineffable, philosophical approaches to music's expressiveness, performance, and authenticity.

Panelists include François Noudelmann, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris VIII and the European Graduate School, journalist at France Culture, and author of the essay The Philosopher's Touch: Sartre, Nietzsche and Barthes at the Piano; Professor Jacqueline Waeber, a specialist of Rousseau from the Duke Department of Music; Olivier Dejours, composer, conductor, and former member of Les Percussions de Strasbourg; and Professor of Philosophy Richard Fleming from Bucknell University, author of many works on ordinary language philosophy and on philosophy and music, and particularly on the work of John Cage.

7 Words is presented by the Romance Studies Department, in collaboration with the Vice Provost for the Arts, the Council for the Arts, the Center for French and Francophone Studies (CFFS), the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI), the Center for Philosophy, Art, and Literature at Duke (PAL), the Program in Arts of the Moving Image (AMI), the Literature Program and the Department of Music.



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