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Berkeley Podcast for Music

Episode 1: Malvina Reynolds and her “Little Boxes”

Episode 1, presented by Nicholas Mathew. Remembering the singer and political activist Malvina Reynolds, the former Berkeleyan who would have turned 120 this month. We discuss her life, music, and activism, as well as the contested politics of her most famous song, “Little Boxes” — a satire of suburban conformity inspired by the sixties housing developments around Daly City. Featuring Reynolds’ daughter Nancy Schimmel (also a former Berkeleyan), Professor Margaret Crawford from Architecture, Professor Timothy Hampton from French and Comparative Literature, and Professor Maria Sonevytsky from Music.

Suggested reading and listening:
This blog by Nancy Schimmel about her mother’s life and work
Malvina Reynolds singing “Little Boxes
Peter Seeger singing “Little Boxes
Margaret Crawford’s Everyday Urbanism  and Building the Working Man’s Paradise 
Timothy Hampton’s book on Bob Dylan’s Poetics 
Maria Sonevytsky’s Wild Music
Our wonderful soundtrack is “Strawberry” from the 2015 Snowy Egret album by Berkeley’s Myra Melford


Episode 2: “Remote Instruction?”

Episode 2, presented by Nicholas Mathew. How can music and sound studies teach us to conceive of “remote instruction” in new ways? A Berkeley seminar, a musical performance, a criminal trial — are any of these “live” if they are happening over Zoom? Mary Ann Smart from Music, Danielle Simon from Dartmouth College, Tom McEnaney from Comparative Literature, and Andrea Roth from the Law school discuss the history of the concept of “liveness,” the American legal obsession with face-to-face cross-examination, the “media forms” of the courtroom, classroom, novel, and radio broadcast — and whether “remote learning” is truly “remote.

Suggested reading and listening:
Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
Tom McEnaney’s Acoustic Properties
Andrea Roth on “Machine Testimony
Mary Ann Smart’s Waiting for Verdi
Danielle Simon’s “Broadcasting Opera in Fascist Italy