Ecomusics and Ecomusicologies 2014: Dialogues

I spent much of 2013-2014 organizing, planning, budgeting, and securing funding for Ecomusics and Ecomusicologies 2014: Dialogues—a five-day conference that brought together over 100 notable academics, environmental activists and musicians on the campus of UNCA in October 2014 (full academic and musical program at

The conference was truly interdisciplinary, involving many students, faculty, organizations and departments on campus. Concerts by headliners Paul Winter, the Crossroads Project, and other interactive events extended into the greater Asheville community. The international conference received considerable positive press and attracted local, national and international attention. While previous iterations of the conference had been held in New Orleans (2012) and in Brisbane, Australia (2013), this conference was the biggest and most ambitious yet—and was the first to merge a full academic conference (40 papers and 6 keynotes) with a full music festival (over 30 performances and installations).  

Ecomusics 202x: Sound, Environment, Inclusion

Planning for our next Ecomusics conference is underway. Building upon the model set forth in the 2014 conference, the new conference will focus to a greater extent upon improvised musics, and will seek to will bring together artists, scholars, scientists, and the general public around the topic of space and inclusion as manifest in the intersection of music, culture, and the environment. In addition to general ecomusicology topics, the conference committee will encourage submissions and performances that respond, but are not limited, to the following topic fields: Acoustic ecology; Afrofuturism; Apocalypse and utopia; Consumption and production of musical space; "Copernican” music; In-between spaces, borderlands, conflict zones; “Hyperobjects”; Music and/as discovery; Music and science; Nostalgia; Sonification; Technology and space.

The videos below convey sense of the 2014 conference. The first video provides a general overview. In the panel discussion with UNCA professor of physics Mike Ruiz and UNCA professor of psychology Michael Neelon, we describe how our interdisciplinary overlap aligns with the both the theme of the conference and the liberal arts mission of UNC Asheville. In the next video, my interview with UNCA music department 2019 artists-in-residence Endless Field, we explore the relevance of jazz and improvised musics to the ecomusical dialogues that are garnering attention around world.

© 2019 William Bares


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