Memory and Recovery Panel

Saturday, April 14, 10:45am
Room 2224
Meghan Joyce, chair

"A Degustation Album: The Harbour Union with Seven Courses of P's"

Kris Vavasour, Cultural Studies
University of Canturbury (NZ)

When the earth shakes and venues break, musical performance and production get taken to the streets, the local parks, and the backyards of suburbia. Musicians, venues, and recording studios have all been severely disrupted or damaged in the city of Christchurch and the nearby port town of Lyttelton, leading to some creative solutions. This presentation explores the organic growth and DIY nature of The Harbour Union project, serving up a musical slice of community-level crisis response, along with a side of hope and a dash of resilience.

The Harbour Union is both a group of local musicians and a fundraising album that was made in response to the devastating Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Over a series of 'courses', this presentation will explore various aspects of the project, from conception to completion. The seven P's on the degustation menu are perspective, people, performance, production, product, promotion and profit.

The theoretical framework is provided by research into disaster music, and the role of music in promoting and enabling a sense of communitas within a disaster community. However, most of the flavour in this degustation presentation comes from the presenter's personal experience of the events (geological and musical), as well as friendships with some of the artists involved. The presentation takes advantage of this backstage pass to The Harbour Union project to provide a unique perspective on the production and consumption of music during a time of crisis.

"Let It Be: Countering Crisis in Ursula Le Guin's The Lathe of Heaven"

Shari Sanders, Comparative Literature
University of California, Santa Barbara

In The Lathe of Heaven, by Ursula Le Guin, protagonist George Orr dreams. His dreams manifest the signature crises of the last half-century: nuclear apocalypse, ecological apocalypse, plague, mass murder—and, of course, giant sea-turtle shaped Aliens that pose a genocidal threat to human existence. Though George dreams some horrifying, and some odd, nightmares, he also dreams of love, comfort, hope and contentment. Ultimately, George's nightmares and dreams entangle him amidst two opposing discourses which the novel "speaks" in two distinct voices.

The novel's antagonist, Dr. Haber, speaks the discourse of crisis as he argues that crises are disasters which humans can and must seek to control. The novel counters Haber's discourse of crisis with music, and, as Haber propels the novel towards its climactic scene, music subverts the novel's movement toward its own climax. In this paper, I focus on the novel's covert and subversive voice, which Le Guin playfully encodes in an Alien language comprised of Beatles references and half-sung phrases. Though the Aliens' words initially seem nonsensical, the novel's aural cues prompt the reader to vocalize the Alien words and reveal the novel's counterpoint to discourses of crisis and control: "iaklu'."

"The Role of Music in Therapy to Restore Spoken Language for Sufferers of Broca's Aphasia"

Rebecca Hartness, Communication Sciences & Disorders
University of Oregon

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the role of music in restoring spoken language to sufferers of Broca's Aphasia following left hemisphere brain damage, with the most common being stroke survivors. The loss of the ability to produce spoken language despite preserved auditory comprehension due to Broca's Aphasia may be one of the most devastating experiences a person can have as a result of a stroke. Implementation of melodic intonation therapy by trained speech-language pathologists and/or music therapists is examined as an effective device for treating patients with Broca's Aphasia. The underlying link between the language and musical systems existing in the brain serves as the basis for evidence, that by engaging in right hemispheric stimulation through music, cortical plasticity occurs and the language system can be transformed and rejuvenated in remarkable ways. One of the few accepted treatments for treating severe Broca's Aphasia, melodic intonation therapy uniquely utilizes the elements of music that also naturally occur in speech to facilitate spoken language production in patients with Broca's Aphasia. Continued research of the role of music in treating Broca's Aphasia and other speech and language disorders is a necessary step in establishing widely accepted evidence-based practice for the use of music in speech and language therapy. Where traditional speech and language therapy has failed many patients with severe Broca's Aphasia, melodic intonation therapy has given voice to an otherwise voiceless population, and thus significantly impacted their quality of life.

« Back to Schedule