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Listening Spaces

Listening Spaces was established in 2011 by Richard Randall and Richard Purcell as part of the Center for the Arts in Society’s Media Initiative. Our project examines ways in which technological, political, and economic forces influence how we make music in the 21st century.  We partner with scholars, technologists, critics, artists, musicians, and activists from Pittsburgh and around the world in order to create a stronger discourse about diverse music practices. In 2012, we hosted the Listening Spaces Symposium with scholars such as Larisa Mann, Trebor Scholz, and Jonathan Sterne. In 2016 we published 21st Century Perspectives on Music, Technology, and Culture (Palgrave MacMillan). We believe in activistic scholarship that is both theoretical and applied. Listening Spaces creates public musical experiences that promote and investigate music as a critical social practice.  We created and directed the Pittonkatonk May Day Brass BBQ (2014-2017), produced the Young Musicians Collaborative (2015-16), Printonkatonk (2017), the Music and Labor Public Roundtable (2014, 2017), and hosted public talks and performances by author Tim Lawrence and activist sound artist Elysia Crampton (2017). In 2018, in partnership with University of Pittsburgh Department of Ethnomusicology, we produced the Balkan Music and Culture Symposium and KAFANA PGH, a pop-up performance space for traditional and contemporary Balkan music and dance.