New Review of ‘Cathy Berberian Pioneer of Contemporary Vocality’

Just as I set back from the ‘Posthumanist and Vocality‘ seminar at the ACLA conference, I found a very generous review of Cathy Berberian Pioneer of Contemporary Vocality in the latest special issue on voice of Twentieth-Century Music. I am particularly pleased to see that the author of the review is distinguished artist and musicologist Nina Sun Eidsheim, whose new book I bought just on my way back from Harvard. It is a very good coincidence, and I will look forward to reading further the work of this peer, who already showed appreciation for our work. A short excerpt from the review follows below.Cathy Berberian

‘A milestone in Cathy Berberian research, this edited collection is based on a 2006
conference in Amsterdam dedicated to her oeuvre. The volume is organized into three parts
and bookended by an introduction and previously published, newly translated, or recently
transcribed materials. The three sections focus on (i) vocal writing from a Western music
composition point of view; (ii) vocal performance as a critical practice; and (iii) perspectives
on Berberian’s influence on vocal writing and performance from the point of view of the
performer and singer-composer. The range of contributors reflects both the boundlessness of
Berberian’s artistry and the discursive power of her vocal and compositional work. Moreover,
by curating a diverse set of texts, the editors have taken great care to illuminate the many
aspects of Berberian’s accomplishment. The contributors range from musicologists with
specialisms in twentieth-century music, gender, opera, and electronics to composers and
performers, some of whom worked directly with Berberian. Such a varied set of perspectives
is immensely valuable when definitions of work, authorship, and style are at stake.’

NINA EIDSHEIM (2016). Twentieth-Century Music, 13, pp 167-170 doi:10.1017/