News Release

REF NO.: 65

SUBJECT: Memorial University’s MMaP lecture series features Dr. Chris Tonelli

DATE: November 3, 2011

             Memorial University’s Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media and Place is holding its next lecture on Monday, Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the MMaP gallery, located on the second floor of the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre.               
            Dr. Chris Tonelli will be presenting his lecture titled Pastiche as Event: Theorizing Imitation in Recorded Popular Music.
            Dr. Tonelli is currently the visiting assistant professor at Memorial’s School of Music. He completed his graduate work in the Critical Studies and Experimental Practices in Music program at the University of California, San Diego and has taught at the New Zealand School of Music.
            Dr. Tonelli’s research interests include theorization of the voice, transnational flows of music between North America and Japan, reception theory, whiteness and masculinity, and improvisation.
             His upcoming lecture explores imitation in music and reasons we potentially need to think differently about it.
            “Theorizing certain kinds of imitation involves understanding the way we project intentionality on musical creators,” said Dr. Tonelli. 
             “We, as listeners, judge the sincerity or insincerity of musical imitators when we listen, and those judgments drastically affect how we evaluate musical works, even how we allow ourselves to take or reject the pleasures music might offer us.”
            What might interest the average music listener about his topic, said Dr. Tonelli, is that “it may help them understand aspects of their own listening practices that they may never have thought about before.”
            Any fans of certain underground music scenes may also be quite interested in what Dr. Tonelli has to say.
            “I'm going to begin by discussing the chiptune scene, an international music scene in which musicians rewire old video gaming systems to make new musical instruments. The misuse of these technologies and the energetic music it results in are both pretty exciting.” 
            Besides chiptune, Dr. Tonelli writes about the sample-pop of Jason Forrest, the mashup scene, French pop made by non-French speaking musicians, the Chicago punk scene in the 1990s, blackface minstrelsy and the Montreal based group Chromeo, some of which will come up in his talk.
            Dr. Tonelli will not only explore the limitations of current thought on his topic, but will present his own framework for the study of musical imitation.
            “This is a special talk for me to give. It will give me the chance to reflect on a research project I've been engaged in for about a decade, right after the project has reached a kind of culmination. I look forward to sharing it with this community that has been so welcoming to me and my wife.” 
About this series:
The Canada Research Chair in Ethnomusicology, in conjunction with the School of Music and the Department of Folklore, inaugurated this interdisciplinary lecture series in 2002-03. Distinguished scholars from the academic community are featured in a series of presentations regarding historical and contemporary musical practices. Members of the general public, as well as the university community, are cordially invited. The Music, Media and Culture lecture series for 2011-12 is grateful for financial support from the Office of the President at Memorial University.

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