• Alexandra Lippman's talk poster
Wednesday, June 5th
3:30 - 5 PM (followed by reception and live DJ set)
MUS 1145
In anticipation of hosting the World Cup (2014) and the Olympics (2016), Rio de Janeiro intensified efforts to craft an auditory experience of the city that would convey the right impression to a global audience. Music and sound have long served as symbols of Brazil. I discuss how aurality becomes a political force through the emergence of two distinct forms of sonic politics around local popular music, funk carioca: criminalization and, what I call, culturalization. While criminalization mutes and controls an existing sensory world, culturalization creates an artificial or sanitized representation of sound and appeals to law to claim legitimacy as “culture.” Funk carioca’s criminalization in favelas and culturalization in the formal city reveals how different modes of governance are spatialized within the city. 
Alexandra Lippman is an Assistant Project Scientist in the Department of Anthropology at UCLA. Her manuscript, Opening Culture: Intellectual Property, Piracy, and Pacification in Brazil explores how alternative intellectual property practices impact creativity, technology, and music. She has published in Anthropology Today, Tapuya: Latin American Science, Technology and Society and Norient, has several book chapters published by MIT Press, and co-edited a volume, Gaming the Metrics: Misconduct and Manipulation in Academic Research (MIT Press, 2019). She also engages with multimodal scholarship through sound performance and curation, having founded the Sound Ethnography Project in 2010 and co-founded the music label and project Discos Rolas in 2018.
**Event to be followed by an end-of-year party and live DJ set by Dr. Lippman (aka Xandão) in the Music Bowl**
  1. June 5, 2019 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
  • ruth Rosenberg's poster

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 | 3:30-5 pm Music Room 1145, UC Santa Barbara

432 Hz music is a relatively recent internet-based phenomenon that has attracted listeners and musicians from all parts of the world. Increasingly connected via social media, a community of listeners has emerged that is diverse in musical taste and proclivity, but has in common a belief that music tuned to the standard pitch of A-440 Hz is “out of tune” with nature and humanity. Instead, they find music tuned to an A-432 Hz standard provides a better listening experience and could be beneficial to listeners physically, psychologically, even spiritually. Drawing from research into the historical and scientific claims made by 432 Hz advocates, as well as from data collected from dedicated 432 Hz listeners, this talk will examine the promise of—and skepticism towards—the concept of “frequency” in this context. It will ask how the 432 Hz phenomenon relates to other internet-based forms of music consumption, self- tracking and wellness trends, and what Anahid Kassabian has called today’s culture of “ubiquitous listening.”

RUTH E. ROSENBERG is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she teaches courses in musicology and ethnomusicology. Her first book (and ongoing work) concerns the place of music and sound in 19th-century French travel writing. Her most recent work concerns the history of tuning standards and the 432 Hz music phenomenon, with special focus on the experiences of dedicated listeners.

Cosponsored by UCSB Ethnomusicology Forum, Music History and Theory Forum, and the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music (CISM)


  1. April 10, 2019 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
  • amanda weidman's poster

Wednesday, February 6, 2019, 3:30-4:45 pm

Music Room 1145

This talk will examine the reorganization of singing voices and vocal aesthetics in the music of Tamil cinema, contrasting the ideals for male and female voices from the 1960s and 70s with new ideals that have emerged since the 1990s, in the wake of India’s economic and cultural liberalization. Based on ethnographic research among playback singers, music directors, and sound engineers in the Tamil film industry, the talk will show how two now-salient aesthetics of vocal sound, “husky” and “raw,” index different, and distinctly gendered, orientations to Tamil ethnolinguistic belonging and claims to global cosmopolitanism in the post-Liberalization context. In doing so, it will explore the structures of voicing that are afforded by particular ways of cultivating the sonic/material voice.

AMANDA WEIDMAN is a cultural anthropologist with interests in music, sound, media, performance, linguistic anthropology, semiotics, and technological mediation. Within South Asia, her research focuses on Tamil-speaking South India. She is currently at work on a book project on playback singing in Indian cinema, a system where singers’ voices are first recorded in the studio and then “played back” on the set to be matched with actors’ bodies and other visual images in song sequences. This project situates the new forms of vocal sound and performance practice, celebrity and publicity, and affective attachment to voices that have been generated by this division of labor between voice and body, singing and acting, within the cultural and political context of South India from the late 1940s to the present.

Co-sponsored by the UCSB Music History and Theory Forum and Ethnomusicology Forum and the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music (CISM).

  1. February 6, 2019 - 3:30pm to 4:45pm
  • poster for robert millis and hisham mayet talk
Date: Wed, 01/30/2019 - 3:30pm
Event Location: Special Research Collections

CISM in the Archive presents "Re-collecting the Global South" with sound artist Robert Millis and filmmaker Hisham Mayet of the Sublime Frequencies collective on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at 3:30 pm at UCSB Library, Special Research Collections (3rd floor, Mountain Side). Millis and Mayet will share their work reissuing global popular and folk music recordings on Sublime Frequencies, an important audio and video label, and discuss their recent curated reissues of ethnographic texts, audio, and photographs by mid-century ethnomusicologists Deben Battacharya and Charles Duvelle. Co-sponsored by UCSB Library and the Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Music (CISM). Event is free and open to the public.

Robert Millis is a musician, Fulbright scholar and sound artist. He has curated many releases and films for Sublime Frequencies, the most recent being the book Paris to Calcutta: Men and Music on the Desert Road, and authored the books Indian Talking Machine for Sublime Frequencies and Victrola Favorites for Dust-to-Digital. Performing solo and as Climax Golden Twins he has released many LPs and CDs including the soundtracks to the cult horror films Session Nine and Chained, and has created installation works such as The Music Room at Berlin’s Haus der Kulturen der Welt in 2016, and radio pieces including “The Gramophone Effect” for Documenta14.

Hisham Mayet is a film maker, photographer, musical researcher and sound adventurer. He was born on the Barbary Coast of North Africa. As co-founder and co-owner of the Sublime Frequencies label (along with Alan Bishop),  Mayet has realized multiple documentary films and music recordings over the course of the label's 15 year existence. Exhilarating, hallucinatory, harrowing, ecstatic and surreal, Hisham Mayet's films and audio collections reveal a region's rituals, rhythm and landscape, with an aesthetic of extra-geography and soulful experience. Employing an unflinching methodology that continues to inspire contemporaries and audience alike, his many documentaries have been redefining the nature of ethnographic film, and continue to provoke and amaze in equal measure.  


  1. January 30, 2019 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
  • poster of the rock doc events

Location: Pollock Theater, UCSB 


Thursday, January 17 / 7:00PM

A Hard Day's Night (1964) with Journalist Ivor Davis 

Thursday, January 24 / 7:00PM 

Let It Be (1970) with Musician and Producer Alan Parsons 

Thursday, February 12 / 7:00PM 

I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978) with Actress Nancy Allen and co-writer Bob Gale 

Wednesday, February 27 / 7:00PM 

Across the Universe (2007) with Music and Cultural Critic Greil Marcus 

Saturday, March 2 / 2:00PM 

Yellow Submarine (1968) with Artist and Writer Bill Morrison 

When the Beatles burst onto the musical scene in the early 1960s, they reflected the era’s great idealism and its frenzy of political protest and debate, producing music that would become synonymous with the decade itself. The CWC’s winter series Beatles Revolutions examines the ways in which the band was central to broader revolutions in music, culture, and politics. The series spans documentary, animation, and fictionalized versions of the Beatles’ lives, and will feature distinguished guests who have written about, toured with, and produced music for the Beatles.

  1. January 17, 2019 to March 2, 2019
  • poster of michel gallope's talk

Date: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 | 3:30-4:45 pm

Location: Music Room 1145

Alice Coltrane’s early musical experiences were as a pianist in a Baptist church in Detroit, though as her career matured, she increasingly drew on the mystical traditions of Hinduism. Following her husband’s death, Coltrane travelled to India and became close with the Indian guru Swami Satchidananda. During this period, Coltrane’s music changed rapidly from bebop into an almost cinematic musical fusion of a droning tanpura, string arrangements, a harp, and an electric organ. At the same time, she began to write many of her own liner notes, while publishing four volumes of devotional diaries. In these writings, Coltrane’s newfound Hindu beliefs facilitated a mystical ascent to registers of universal consciousness, while her music perplexingly ran in the opposite direction; it was often highly ornamented, dissonant, jagged, and stylistically inaccessible. This talk argues that Alice Coltrane’s mysticism stems from the way she joined opaque musical idioms to similarly obscure explanatory language—resulting in what I call a negative grammar. Her approach fractured Afro-modernist styles of bebop, while also, like Ornette Coleman, using language in ways that enhanced audiences’ sense of perplexity about her innovations. In dialogue with writings by Baraka, Mailer, Cavell, and Adorno, this talk draws broader conclusions about the ways Coltrane’s adoptions of mysticism exploited and transfigured the longstanding philosophical question of music’s ineffability.

MICHAEL GALLOPE is Associate Professor in the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota where he is also affiliate faculty in the School of Music, American Studies, and the program in Moving Image Studies. He is the author of Deep Refrains: Music, Philosophy, and the Ineffable (University of Chicago Press, 2017), as well as over a dozen articles and essays on music and philosophy. As a musician, he works in a variety of genres from avant-garde composition to rock music and West African electronica.

Co-sponsored by the UCSB Music History and Theory Forum and Ethnomusicology Forum, the Transformative Arts Network in the Department of Black Studies, and the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music (CISM)



  1. January 16, 2019 - 3:30pm to 4:45pm
  • louise meintjes talk poster
November 28, 2018
3:30 - 5 PM
Music 1145
In rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, good ululators are appreciated, yet ululation is not considered performance. Ethnography of Zulu men’s song and dance performance prompts consideration of ululation as an artistic and social practice reverberating from the South. Its sound, in turn, invites a shift of attention from technology to the voice; it also genders Sound Studies and finds sympathetic vibrations with Black Studies, which is also curiously underplayed in the current evolution of Sound Studies.
Louise Meintjes is Associate Professor of Music and Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. She is the author of Sound of Africa! Making Music Zulu in a South African Studio (Duke, 2003), an ethnography of the politics of production of mbaqanga music in a state-of-the-art studio during South Africa’s transition years (1990-1994); and Dust of the Zulu: Ngoma Aesthetics after Apartheid (Duke, 2017); an ethnography of a team of migrant Zulu men, singer-dancers/warrior-soldiers, and their experience of post apartheid South Africa. 
Sponsored by the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music, Ethnomusicology Forum, and the African Studies Research Focus Group.
  1. November 28, 2018 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
  • alex chavez's poster


Event Date: Wednesday, November 7, 2018 - 3:30pm to 4:45pm
Event Location: Music #1145
Dr. Alex E. Chávez (Anthropology, University of Notre Dame) will present a talk titled "Verses and Flows: Migrant Lives and the Sounds of Crossing" on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 from 3:30-4:45 pm in Music Library Seminar Room 1145. Dr. Chávez will cover his new ethnography of Huapango music and US-Mexico border migration, Sounds of Crossing: Music, Migration, and the Aural Poetics of Huapango Arribeño (Duke 2017). Co-sponsored by the Department of Music's Ethnomusicology and Musicology/Theory forums, the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music (CISM), and the Department of Anthropology.
In his book Sounds of Crossing: Music, Migration, and the Aural Poetics of Huapango Arribeño (Duke 2017), Dr. Alex E. Chávez explores the contemporary politics of Mexican migrant cultural expression manifest in the sounds and aural poetics of huapango arribeño, a musical genre originating from north-central Mexico. In this presentation, he draws on this work to address how Mexican migrants voice desires of recognition and connection through performance, and the politics such desires attain amidst the transnational context of migrant deportability. As a researcher, artist, and participant, Chávez has consistently crossed the boundary between scholar and performer in the realms of academic research and publicly engaged work as a musician and producer. In this presentation, he draws on these experiences to address the politics of his intellectual and creative work and how he engages both to theorize around the political efficacy of sound-based practices, the “voice,” and the disciplinary futures of borderlands anthropology.
Bio: Ethnographer-composer-academic-musician, Alex E. Chávez is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and a faculty fellow of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. His research and teaching explore Latina/o/x expressive culture in everyday life as manifest through sound, language, and performance. He has consistently crossed the boundary between performer and ethnographer in the realms of both academic research and publicly engaged work as an artist and producer. He is the author of Sounds of Crossing: Music, Migration, and the Aural Poetics of Huapango Arribeño (Duke University Press 2017) and produced the Smithsonian Folkways album Serrano de Corazón (2016). He has published in various academic journals, including the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Latino Studies, Latin American Music Review, and Southern Cultures, has contributed to the prominent volumes Making Sense of Language (2016), Latino, American, Dream (2016), Iconic Mexico (2015), and Celebrating Latino Folklore (2012), and his writing has been featured in public venues such as the Huffington Post and Revista Contratiempo. An accomplished musician and multi-instrumentalist, Chávez has recorded and toured with his own music projects, composed documentary scores (most recently Emmy Award-winning El Despertar [2016]), and collaborated with acclaimed artists including Antibalas, Grammy Award-winners Quetzal and Grupo Fantasma, and Latin Grammy Award-nominated Sones de México. He is currently co-editing a volume provisionally titled Latina/o/x Aesthetics in the Global Midwest—a project that grows out of a collaborative research grant funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. He is also curating the liner notes for the forthcoming 8th studio album by Quetzal, which is to be released on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. In addition, he is currently co-producing the 4th studio album by hip-hop artist Olmeca. And in Spring 2019, he will be co-chairing an Advanced Seminar at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico—Ethnographies of Contestation and Resilience in Latinx America. Learn more at
This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Music's Ethnomusicology and Music History/Theory forums, the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music (CISM), the Department of Anthropology, and the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies.
  1. November 7, 2018 - 3:30pm to 4:45pm
  • poster of make SB series

Date: Thursday November 1, 7PM

Location: Santa Barbara Central Library, 40 E Anapamu St

All ages, Free admission

MakeSB, in conjunction with KCSB and CISM (UCSB’s Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music) is proud to welcome Old Time Relijun to the Central Library Thursday, November 1st at 7:30PM.  Old Time Relijun will be playing in celebration of their 23-year anniversary as a band, and will be joined by local bands VNLVX from Ventura, and Internet based out of Santa Barbara.

Old Time Relijun is a band whose sound defies easy description; while a lot of their music has foundational aspects rooted in traditional blues as well as classic rock distortion and feedback, the band’s heavy experimentation - both instrumentally as well as with the tempo and timbre of their sound – create a lush and varied soundscape that is both danceable and intellectually stimulating.  Signed to K Records during the 90s as the record label was making history in the Pacific Northwest independent scene, these first shows in over 10 years for the band are a great time to witness first-hand the intersection of mystery and pure avant-garde expressionism that is Old Time Relijun.

Support for Old Time Relijun is provided by Ventura band VNLVX and Internet from Santa Barbara.  Both bands take traditional punk and post-punk riffs – VNLVX more the former, and Internet more of the latter - and add modern flourishes to create a sound that is both classically familiar in how they sound, yet very modern in lyrical content and expression.  The result: truly timeless music that is not to be missed.

The ability to make and create will also be available for all attendees as there will be button making, metal stamping, and typewriters for all to use.

All MakeSB performers are paid for their participation via mini-grant funds provided by the Santa Barbara Public Library. For booking inquiries or to inquire about future shows, email Information about Santa Barbara Public Library System locations, hours, events, and programs is available at All Library programs are free and open to the public.

Contact: Hong Lieu

Phone: 805-564-5670



  1. November 1, 2018 - 7:00pm
  • no no boy poster

Date: Tuesday October 30, 3-5pm

Location: MultiCultural Center Lounge

No-No Boy is a multimedia concert performed by Julian Saporiti and Erin Aoyama. Taking inspiration from interviews with World War II Japanese Incarceration camp survivors, his own family’s history living through the Vietnam War, and many other stories of Asian American experience, Saporiti has transformed his doctoral research at Brown University into folk songs in an effort to bring these stories to a broader audience. Alongside Aoyama, a fellow PhD student at Brown whose family was incarcerated at Heart Mountain, Wyoming, one of the 10 Japanese American concentration camps, No-No Boy aims to shine a light on experiences that have remained largely hidden in the American consciousness. 


  1. October 30, 2018 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm