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Questions about the Michael B. Keegan Traveling Fellowship: If you have questions about the Michael B. Keegan Traveling Fellowship, please visit http://www.vanderbilt.edu/travelfellowship.
During my 2009-2010 fellowship, I explored what it means to be a composer in the dynamic twenty-first century by immersing myself in musical cultures of disparate global traditions. For example, I traveled to China to work with a famed performer of the erhu, a two-stringed traditional instrument often referred to as the “Chinese violin.” In London, I worked with a violinist on the premiere of a new solo violin piece at Wilton’s Music Hall. I helped in the establishment of the First International Contemporary Music Festival in Cyprus, and I listened to a lot of Indian classical music in four cities around India. I wrote music for soloists and ensembles, mixing my own Western classical background with new understandings of global musical idioms.
Vanderbilt University provided me with incredible support, including a stipend to travel to destinations of my choosing to complete this yearlong project. One requisite of the Fellowship was to keep a website detailing my adventures and my progress throughout the year. This site contains some of my diary entries, photo albums, and general updates about my travels.
Official Press Release from Vanderbilt University:
Kathryn Moreadith 2009-10 Traveling Fellow
With support from the Michael B. Keegan Traveling Fellowship, Kathryn will embark upon an international quest to uncover and analyze musical identities within distinct communities. To appreciate how music is incorporated into cultural practices of the geographically, politically, and socially disparate regions of the world requires immersing oneself in those regions, and subsequently provides a unique lens through which to view the importance of traversing cultural boundaries. Music has, for centuries, been a medium through which social, cultural, and individual identities are expressed, awarding it a unique ability to transcend standard communicatory boundaries. Essential to its ability to traverse communicatory boundaries is the idea that music is not an isolated pursuit, but rather a collaborative art, which provokes the relevant question: can musical collaboration—specifically the process of composer and performer working together—be achieved across global boundaries?
By exploring musical idioms beyond her own Western classical background, Kathryn hopes to illuminate the ways cross-cultural transmission can be achieved through an artistic medium. Her research will focus on traditional music and musical communities in different parts of the world. Traveling to mainland China, Egypt, India, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Indonesia, among other destinations, Kathryn will document her research through field recordings and a portfolio of personal compositions which will be written in conjunction with professional musicians and their compatriots. The year will culminate in a combinative analytical review of this research to be conducted in the United Kingdom, where Kathryn will work with mentors from the Royal Academy of Music and the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. During her year of travel and study, Kathryn seeks to discover—through collaborative musical composition, research, and performance—the expansive role of leadership in the global community by first understanding elemental aspects of individual cultures.
To learn more about my project proposal, click on “Project Proposal” above. You can also visit the Michael B. Keegan home page at http://www.vanderbilt.edu/travelfellowship. The fellowship is administered and supervised by Sandy Stahl, Associate Dean of Students. Dr. Stahl can be contacted at 615-322-6400 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
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