Stop Making Sense: Words Over Here, Words Out There, by Thomas Swiss

by justindburton on May 13, 2013

Guest Editor Elizabeth Lindau brings to the IASPM-US site a series of essays on the topic “Stop Making Sense: The Unintelligible in Popular Song.” During the month of May, we’ll explore what it is to sit just on the edge of reason in popular music.

Today’s post comes from Thom Swiss, who responded to the “Stop Making Sense” call with an assemblage. Justin Burton (editor for IASPM-US) “organized” that assemblage in the prezi above, which you can explore using the navigation buttons which will allow you to move from one piece of the assemblage to the next, as well as with an “autoplay” feature that will control the pace of the presentation for you. At any point in the presentation, you can grab and drag the screen around. For some theoretical background, read Swiss’s explanation of his assemblage here.

Thomas Swiss is Professor in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota. His writing and teaching focus on interdisciplinary subjects, including new media, creative writing, and the cultural studies of education, and he is dedicated to issues pertaining to equity and social justice in both research and teaching. He is also a poet, and he teaches a course on teaching creative writing for graduate students. His most recent book of poems is Rough Cut, published by the University of Illinois Press.

Elizabeth Lindau is Visiting Assistant Professor of Musicology/Ethnomusicology at Gettysburg College. She completed her Ph.D. in Critical and Comparative Studies in Music at the University of Virginia in 2012 with a dissertation titled “Art is Dead. Long Live Rock! Avant-Gardism and Popular Music, 1967-99.” Liz’s essay “Goodbye 20th Century! Sonic Youth Records John Cage’s ‘Number Pieces’ ” appears in Benjamin Piekut, ed. Tomorrow is the Question: New Directions in Experimental Music Studies (University of Michigan Press, in press). This fall, she will join the faculty of Wesleyan University as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music.

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