Jennifer Iverson, Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Chicago, is this year’s recipient of the “Outstanding Publication Award” from the Society for Music Theory. The award, given yearly at the Society’s annual meeting, honors a distinguished article by an author at any stage in her career.
Iverson joined the UChicago faculty in the fall of 2016. A scholar of twentieth-century music, her research draws together music analysis, archival research, and cultural history in an exploration of the interaction between bodies, technologies, and sound. Her article “Invisible Collaboration: The Dawn and Evolution of elektronische Musik,” demonstrates the lasting impacts the machines, technicians, and scientists of the very first electronic music studio (WDR, Westdeutscher Rundfunk in Cologne) had on the history and genre of electronically produced music.
“This year’s Outstanding Publication Award honors an article that focuses on the collaborative process of composition in the early years of one of the most influential postwar institutions for new music,” said Danuta Mirka, Professor of Music Theory and Cognition at Beinen School of Music (Northwestern University) when announcing the award. “The article makes visible the collaborative network behind the creative work of these actors that took place in Cologne between 1951 and 1954.”
“Invisible Collaboration” is just a part of Iverson’s exploration into the Cold War origins of electronic music and the genesis of an entirely new and deeply influential means of creating music. Her first book, Electronic Inspirations: Technologies of the Cold War Musical Avant-Garde, traces the reclamation and repurposing of wartime machines, spaces, and discourses into the new sounds of the mid-century WDR studio.