“Waves of Moderation”–My plenary talk for the Sound, Music, & Affect Conference at Stony Brook on 4/18
I’m honored and excited to be giving one of the plenary talks at the upcoming Sound, Music, & Affect conference at Stony Brook.
Here is the full text of my talk.
IASPM attendees will notice that this is a more fully fleshed-out version of the talk I gave there.
Here is a preview of what it’s about:
In what follows, I will first discuss ancient Greek (mainly Platonic) notions of sophrosyne, and show how this concept is grounded in ancient Greek music theory, specifically, their understanding of harmony as geometric proportion. I will then use Jacques Attali’s work on music and Michel Foucault’s late work on both ancient Greek thought and neoliberalism to first (a) establish that moderation is important to neoliberalism’s marketization of everything, and then (b) show that this neoliberal concept of moderation is, like ancient Greek sophrosyne, grounded in a concept of harmony, but a concept of harmony that’s different than the Greeks’ geometric one. This neoliberal concept of harmony is acoustic and algorithmic. I will conclude with an example of acoustic sophrosyne, both as a structure of subjectivity and as a musical gesture—the aforementioned Ludacris song.