French Philosopher François Noudelmann Discusses Barthes and The Musical Practice at CalArts

Today (April 17), the School of Critical Studies’ Aesthetics & Politics (A&P) program and The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts host French philosopher/writer François Noudelmann as part of A&P’s Theory Tuesdays forum. Noudelmann presents material from his recently translated book, The Philosopher’s Touch, which examines philosophers and amateur piano players Jean-Paul Sartre, Friedrich Nietzsche and Roland Barthes and their writings on musical practice.

The discussion, which is held in CalArts’ Butler Building (The Cube), from 12-1:30 pm, focuses on Barthes, who stressed the erotic dimension of piano playing.

From the Publishers Weekly review:

Barthes, another daily piano player and renowned musicologist, disliked academic discussions on music, preferring instead to speak about the subject “from his own emotions and his own playing.” Instead of working toward technical mastery, Barthes pursued “privileged wandering, fragmentation, and sensible caprice,” enjoying exploring his vast collection of scores rather than perfecting one particular piece. An elegant ode to the emotional and intellectual importance of music and solitude.

In addition to his scholarly work, Noudelmann hosts a Sunday evening radio show on France culture, Je l’entends comme je l’aime.  The program “draws on the many relationships between music and the arts, philosophy, literature, poetry, science, and more.”

The Theory Tuesdays series ends on April 24 with a performance piece The Noologist’s Handbook by artist Warren Neidich, from noon to 1:30 pm at the Butler Building. Attendees are asked to bring three meaningful objects to the forum.

Both events are open to all with refreshments for attendees.

Barthes & The Musical Practice
Butler Building (The Cube), CalArts
April 17, 12-1:30 pm

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