The Baldy Center Podcast

Episode 27: Seth Parker Woods discusses the positioning of the cello, oral and written histories, Classical music, Black composers, and performance installations.

Episode 27: Seth Parker Woods discusses the positioning of the cello, oral and written histories, Classical music, Black composers, and performance installations

Published March 15, 2022

Episode 27 features Seth Parker Woods speaking about the cello and its use in classical music and performance pieces, including the ice cello. At the University at Buffalo, Dr. Woods is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar (2021-22) hosted by the Center for Diversity Innovation. In this podcast he discusses the Fluxus movement, Black composers, and using music and performance to create pieces that reflect events and social issues such as police brutality and the emotions they cause. This episode concludes with a performance by Dr. Woods of two pieces: Bach’s Allemande; and Pierre Alexandre Tremblay’s asinglewordisnotenough.

Keywords: cello, music, performance art, Black Lives Matter, police brutality, classical music, Black composers, Fluxus, ice cello, contemporary classical music, Seth Parker Woods

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There have been composers of color, Black composers, Afro-Latino, the wide gamut forever. They've been here… And I feel like there has constantly been a struggle, and, in some ways, I feel like some feel that the idiom that is classical music doesn't belong to us, and there is a Eurocentric complexity that is inside of America, but especially inside of culture. And I don't know the answer to how to change those things or to realize that there also is a large canon of the American classical music and the composers whose voices and stories have lived inside of that genre."                         

   – Seth Parker Woods, PhD (2022 Baldy Center Podcast)

Seth Parker Woods, Distinguished Visiting Scholar (2021-22), UB Center for Diversity Innovation

Research Focus: Interdisciplinary art, installation, performance, wearable technologies; queer/LGBTQ history and studies; acoustic ecologies; community engagement; mentorship

Seth Parker Woods, PhD, discusses the positioning of the cello, oral and written histories, Classical music, Black composers, and performance installations.

Seth Parker Woods, PhD

Hailed by The Guardian as “a cellist of power and grace,” Dr. Seth Parker Woods is a 2021-22 UB Center for Diversity Innovation Distinguished Visiting Scholar. He has established himself as an in-demand soloist, chamber musician, curator and educator both stateside in the USA, Europe and Asia. A fierce advocate for contemporary music and interdisciplinary arts, his collaborators have included the Atlanta and Seattle Symphony’s, Basel Ballet, Berlin Staatsballet, Ictus Ensemble, Tate Modern, Aldo Tambellini, and Adam Pendleton. His latest body of work and research revolves around intersections of interdisciplinary performance, acoustic ecologies, migration storytelling, as well as choreographic archiving, translation and performance. At present he is at work on his first monograph, ICED BODIES: A Performative Rebirth, which chronicles the evolution of his performance/sound installation with collaborator Spencer Topel. He is also developing new musical works for his solo show Difficult Grace, which serve as a commentary on The Great Migration, translation, acts of adornment and the human condition. In 2020-21, Dr. Woods was a lecturer in Cello Performance and Chamber Music/Artist in Residence at the University of Chicago. 

See profile: Seth Parker Woods, PhD 

2021-22 Podcast Producer

Edgar Girtain, Podcast 2021-22 Host/Producer.

Edgar Girtain, Podcast 2021-22 Host/Producer

Edgar Girtain is host/producer of the 2021-22 Edition of The Baldy Center Podcast. He is a PhD student in the music department at SUNY Buffalo, where he studies with David Felder. Girtain is a director of the Casa de Las Artes at the University of Southern Chile (UACh), and president of the Southern Chilean Composers Forum (FoCo Sur).He is an eminent composer, pianist, and writer of his own biographies. Girtain's diverse areas of work are often collaborative, cross-disciplinary, and international in ambition if not in practice.

Executive Producers

Samantha Barbas, PhD
Professor, UB School of Law
Director, The Baldy Center

Caroline Funk, PhD
Associate Director, The Baldy Center

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