Musica est scientia: Ugolino of Orvieto’s Fifteenth-Century Compendium of Musical Thought
The composer, singer, and music theorist Ugolino of Orvieto (ca. 1380–1452) completed his 750-page treatise on music in the 1430s, while serving as archpriest of the Cathedral of Ferrara. This summa on all aspects of musical learning situates ancient and medieval writers, alongside contemporary commentators. Celebrated in his own day as one who would surpass all other musicians, Ugolino bridged a long-established divide between abstract, speculative thought about the harmony of the spheres and the practicalities of musical notation, composition, and singing. Evan MacCarthy’s shoptalk will introduce Ugolino, his treatise, and what we know about the early readers of this text and its later reception, while surveying some of the methods and challenges of editing and translating this important compendium of late medieval musical thought.
Evan MacCarthy is the 2020 National Endowment for the Humanities Rome Prize Fellow in Renaissance and early modern studies and Five College Visiting Assistant Professor of music history in the Department of Music and Dance at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Italian Needlecraft Traditions and Family Narrative
After spending more than twenty years working as a director of photography in the deadline-driven magazine world, Jennifer Pastore is using her Rome Prize Fellowship to recalibrate her mind and body, and to research some of the slowest forms of storytelling—oral reminiscing and needlecraft work—within families. Through research into family reminiscing styles, specifically maternal reminiscing, she is learning how elaborative intergenerational storytelling influences children’s (and later adult’s) autobiographical understanding and emotional resilience. Pastore is interested in how traditional Italian embroidery, and the almost extinct practice of making biancheria (i.e., hand-embroidered linens) and the wedding corredo (i.e., trousseau), enabled the sharing of family traditions and narratives and built a sense of intergenerational kinship. She will interview those who continue to make biancheria by hand (or those who have received these as heirlooms) and learn how, in the past, the practice of embroidery provided emotional space for family storytelling and the continuation of a craft tradition. Pastore will make her own biancheria for her family using thrifted antique linens, creating designs that speak to this time in her family life.
Jennifer Pastore is the Mark Hampton/Jesse Howard Jr. Rome Prize Fellow in Design and executive photography director at WSJ. The Wall Street Journal Magazine, published by Dow Jones in New York.
The shoptalks will be held in English. They will not be streamed on Zoom.
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