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Title:Sacred sounds and natural grounds: designing acoustic communities within Prairie Style and Organic architectural spaces
Author(s):Vallier, Nolan Andrew
Director of Research:Magee, Gayle
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Magee, Gayle
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Bashford, Christina; Silvers, Michael; Deming, Margaret Elen
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):historic musicology
concert history
sound studies
history of architecture
history of landscape architecture
Frank Lloyd Wright
Bruce Goff
Lincoln Park Zoo
Prairie Style Architecture
Organic Architecture
Modern Architecture
concert festivals
parlor concerts
music performance
symphonic music
sound architecture
zoo history
music and animals
Chicago history
Illinois history
Wisconsin history
spatial analysis
American music
avant-garde music
American opera
Daron Hagen
John Cage
Salvatore Martirano
John Garvey
Arthur Farwell
Kirk Nurock.
Abstract:This dissertation examines the relationship between music performance and Midwestern architectural spaces designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and his Prairie Style and Organic Architectural contemporaries. It examines a period of nearly 100-years, from the late 1890s to the mid-1980s, and considers the way music performance has been used to sacralize and elevate the meaning of architectural space. By examining musical influences upon this group of architects and the musical communities that have used their spaces, this work tracks an evolving discourse of the sacralization of space and the naturalization of sound. This work shows that architects fostered musical interests, participated in debates on the effects of urban noise, and even composed their own music. It considers the agency of these architects as “acoustic designers.” My work also considers the role communities have played in cultivating, negating, or preserving sonic meaning within these spaces. I claim that the meaning of these specific soundscapes may be derived through the triangulation of the sonic intent of the acoustic designer, musical performances staged by communities using the space, and the memory of “natural” sounds for particular spaces. My work draws its methodology from concert historians and sound studies scholars. Through detailed archival analysis and historic interpretation of ephemera, I reconstruct the historic soundscapes of four unique case study sites, including: the development of concerts at Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and studio, Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin (1925-1985); an avant-garde chamber music series at Bruce Goff’s John Garvey House in Urbana, Illinois (1963- 1966); architectural preservation and changing musical tastes at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois (1950-1985); and constructions of “natural music” at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Lincoln Park, Illinois (1963-1982).
Issue Date:2021-03-24
Rights Information:Copyright Nolan Vallier 2021
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-09-17
Date Deposited:2021-05

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