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WEEKLY LISTENING ASSIGNMENTS
Week 7 (February 28 & March 1) This week’s listening assignments do not match – chronologically speaking – the assigned readings. They are actually directly opposed to one another. While we read of the founding of Israel’s key art music institutions – opera houses, music academies, and the Palestine Orchestra (better known in its later incarnation, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra) – since the 1930’s, we meet with Israeli composer, musician, and cultural manager, Emmanuel Witzthum, whose work is very much in the present. It’s a great chance to see how far the role of art music in Israel (we already questioned this expression at length) has come within less than a century. In class on Tuesday we will cover the reading assignments (provided we do not need to continue the heated discussions that the topic of “war” have, quite appropriately, provoked last week), and visit Witzthum’s installation, Dissolving Localities | Berkeley Jerusalem, currently on view at The Magnes. Emmanuel Witzthum’s multimedia project, Dissolving Localities, has focused for the last several years on the layers that compose the city of Jerusalem. Witzhum and the artists he invited “perform” the city as a musical/visual instrument. By interweaving recorded sights and sounds, ranging from birds’ songs to street noise, from prayer fragments to church bells, the project creates an expanding open-source multimedia montage, highlighting contrasts and unexpected harmonies. As an artist-in-residence at UC Berkeley, Witzthum is currently extending the Jerusalembased project, and building an expanding dialogue between Jerusalem, his hometown, and Berkeley, where he is residing this Spring. Emmanuel Witzthum is a composer, violist, installation artist, and lecturer. He served as director of Ha-ma'abadah (The Lab) in Jerusalem, a venue for experimental theater, dance, and music, and as musical advisor to the Israel Festival, the premier festival for the arts in Israel. Mr. Witzthum is a Resident Fellow at the Townsend Center for the Humanities at UC Berkeley for the Spring of 2012. He is be hosted by the Department of Music and The Magnes. His residency is made possible in collaboration with the Schusterman Family Foundation's Visiting Artist program. In class, we should focus on several topics: • Prepare questions for Witzthum about his professional (and personal) background; • Ask questions about his ideas on the role of music in Israel (including his own music); • How can the city of Jerusalem be represented in sound, and how are his projects informed by his own relationship with this inspiring, and controversial, city; • What are the implications of being a “visiting Israeli artist” in Berkeley and how is the sponsorship program that supported his visit articulated? Aside from viewing the installation (and reading the assigned chapters in J. Hirshberg’s book), you should also use a variety of online resources, including: • • • • • • An introduction to the Dissolving Localities project: http://youtu.be/GCIlTzCuTKs An interactive visual map of the video and audio locations of Dissolving Localities Dissolving Localities on Facebook Witzthum’s recent project, Hybrid Spectrums: http://youtu.be/meArlnCsrx8 Witzthum’s compositions on SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/emmanuelwitzthum Dissolving Localities | Berkeley Jerusalem at The Magnes
Your response should, as usual, combine a reflection on the variety of resources assigned for the week, as well as on the discussions we will be having in class.
Note: All required sound files and CD booklets available on bSpace.