Re-Sounding History aims to highlight the value of recorded music, held in audio collections, to active musical practice. The participating institutions—Syracuse University, Colgate University, and Hamilton College—all hold music and sound resources in their libraries and archives. We hope to raise awareness of the value of such sonic collections by showcasing well-known performers who draw heavily upon historical archival materials in their performance practices. Re-Sounding History brings nationally-known performer-scholars into lecture-demonstration and concert settings. The combination of explanation and performance illustrate the value of archival resources in informing current, vibrant, historically-informed music-making. The programs also give faculty, staff, students, and community members an excellent chance to enter into sustained dialog, both with each other and with the visiting artists.

Re-Sounding History is a project of a working group supported by the Central New York Humanities Corridor, from an award by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Re-Sounding has been a collaboration that comes directly from a combination of scholarship and praxis. Deborah Justice, the principal investigator, was recently appointed at Syracuse University in fall 2013. Justice’s history working with ethnomusicological archives at Indiana University and Wesleyan University and with performers who draw upon these resources prompted a move to collaborate with Syracuse’s Belfer Audio Archive. Her musical activities with local fiddlers and other folk musicians–many of whom work in and teach at universities–spurred the project further along. She also reached out to fellow professors at CNY corridor institutions, whose work combines both musicianship and scholarship. Participants in the project have come and gone, but all of the co-investigators past and present share a belief in the value of historical sound resources supporting not only classroom education, but the broader human project of informed music-making. The group hopes that this coordinated project will transform collegiality into a sustained relationship that a) increases institutional enthusiasm and support for sound archives; b) excites students about connecting scholarship and practice; c) encourages critical interdisciplinary dialog between faculty at partner institutions; and d) builds bridges between academic and local communities.


Working Group Co-ordinators

Dr. Deborah Justice, Art and Music Histories, Syracuse University

Dr. Sydney Hutchinson, Art and Music Histories, Syracuse University

Dr. Lydia Hamessley, Music, Hamilton College

Dr. Mary Simonson, Film Studies, Colgate University

Dr. Monica Facchini, Assistant Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures, Film and Media Studies, Colgate University

Dr. Peter Steele, Music, Colgate University

Dr. Jenny Doctor, Director of the Belfer Audio Archive, Syracuse University (2014)

Dr. David Roberts, Experience and Instructional Design, Library, Colgate University (2014)

Dr. Patrick Jones, Director of Setnor School of Music, Syracuse University (2014)

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