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Irna Priore Music and Culture Lecture Series: “Sound, Sociality, and the Making of Mountain Skies”

November 15, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm



Assistant Professor and Director, Cherokee Language Program
Western Carolina University, Dept. of Anthropology and Sociology


 In May 2019, the Mountain Skies Festival was held in Black Mountain, North Carolina, twenty miles outside of Asheville. Described as “three days of ambient electronic music,” the annual festival brings together local experimental electronic musicians and visual artists with musicians from around the world who gather to perform almost exclusively for each other. This talk will discuss the making of an ethnographic film about the festival called The Mountain Electric. The film draws upon numerous interviews and audio-visual recordings of performances from the festival to explore participants’ social histories, experiences, and relationships to technologies and each other. Ambient music emerges not as a well-defined genre or recognizable set of stylistic features, but rather as a matrix of practices and ideologies shared across multiple and overlapping virtual and local communities. Ambient musical sounds and production practices coalesce around and intersect with discourses about technology, experimentation, and (often) alternative spiritualities. They are mediated across internet radio, the Second Life virtual world, Facebook, and through localized face-to-face events such as the Mountain Skies Festival. This talk will include clips from the film to illustrate key points that the film seeks to make and will also discuss some of the considerations and challenges of creating a musical ethnographic documentary.

This event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required. Light reception to follow.


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Irna PrioreIrna Priore (1963–2014) was a beloved colleague, and associate professor of music theory in the UNCG School of Music. In addition to being a flutist, she was a scholar, teacher, and mentor in music studies, and contributed publications on Luciano Berio, Darmstadt, post-1945 theory, and Brazilian popular music. Her legacy of generosity, strength, and brilliance continues through her family, friends, colleagues, and students; this series is dedicated to her and celebrates her memory.

For further information contact Dr. Joan Titus (j_titus@uncg.edu)



November 15, 2019
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Categories:


Collins Lecture Hall (Music 217)
100 McIver St
Greensboro, NC 27412 United States
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