Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage

Alexa Woloshyn

Dr. Alexa Woloshyn

Assistant Professor of Musicology

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

I am originally from Saskatchewan, Canada (Treaty 6 territory and the homeland of the Métis). I have been an assistant professor of musicology at Carnegie Mellon University since 2016, and I love working with the immensely talented, bright, and driven students here. I taught previously at Western University (formerly University of Western Ontario), the University of Toronto, University of Guelph, and Bowling Green State University.

In my teaching and research, what excites me most is the music of now. I want to understand how music engages with the contemporary complexities of life—in North America and around the world.

I acknowledge that I live on the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary lands of indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee, Shawnee, Lenape, and Mingo nations. 

Education

PhD Musicology (2012) - University of Toronto

MA Musicology (2007) - Western University (formerly University of Western Ontario)

BMus (2005) - University of Saskatchewan

Research

Dr. Woloshyn possesses extensive research experience in the discipline of musicology and, more specifically, in the specialized areas of: (i) electronically-mediated music, including electronic dance and electroacoustic art music; (ii) contemporary Indigenous musicians; and (iii) music history pedagogy. Her research focuses on how electronic, physiological, and socio-cultural technologies mediate the creation and consumption of musical practices in both art and popular musics. Current research projects examine performance practice in live electronic music and Indigenous musicians’ use of mediating technologies to construct and interrogate notions of ‘modern’ Indigeneity, including Tanya Tagaq and A Tribe Called Red. Dr. Woloshyn’s work has been published in Circuits: musiques contemporains, eContact!, The American Indian Culture and Research Journal, TEMPO, and Journal of Popular Music Studies. She has an essay in the forthcoming edited anthology entitled Hearing the Political in Popular Music: Queer and Feminist Interventions, eds. Susan Fast and Craig Jennex (Routledge).

Projects

Decolonized Futures: supported by the Narrative Initiative, Center for Arts in Society at Carnegie Mellon University

“Decolonized Futures” is an interdisciplinary project that aims to examine and dislodge dominant and oppressive settler colonial narratives. The project’s title refers both to the political project of decolonization and to Indigenous Futurism.Indigenous Futurism centers Indigenous cosmologies through a storytelling framework that creatively and aesthetically interrogates the history of settler colonialism, critiques contemporary Indigenous contexts, and re-visions a decolonized future. The goal of this project is to make visible and audible Indigenous history and presence in Pittsburgh and beyond and to create interdisciplinary narratives through various media that allow all humans to envision potential decolonized futures. More information can be found on the CAS website.

Research-Creation in Electronic Music (RCEM) Group: supported by the Berkman Faculty Development Fund

The phrase “Research-Creation” refers to a specific framework in which researchers, researcher-creators, and creators work collaboratively in projects that have both artistic and scholarly goals. Research-Creation engages scholars and artists simultaneously in the acts of research and creation as intersecting not parallel activities. One current project is entitled “EQ and Feminized Spaces of Productivity in Toronto.” EQ is a workshop series and community for women electronic musicians initiated by Toronto-based sound artist and electroacoustic composer Rose Bolton. EQ becomes a hub for female solidarity in electronic music-making, and a node from which to expand one’s own network and aesthetic practice. 


Revision of Music History III (20th-century music): supported by the Eberly Center as a Wimmer Faculty Fellow in 2017-18.

Dr. Woloshyn addressed two aspects of the course: 1) challenged what is reinforced as the musical canon by breaking down its exclusivity to include diverse perspectives; 2) supported critical thinking and creativity with inquiry-based learning opportunities, through which students became musicologists themselves. The main assessment for the course were a series of timeline entries based on the answers to students’ questions on wide-ranging topics such as blackface in contemporary opera productions to classical music in cartoons.

The Canadian Electronic Ensemble: A History of Live Electronic Music

This is a book project documenting, analyzing, and the celebrating the nearly five decades of the Canadian Electronic Ensemble (CEE). The CEE’s work traverses ever-changing technologies, from monophonic synthesizers to laptop computers, the blend of acoustic and electronic instruments, and live processing.

Courses Taught

Graduate Courses

Music Since 1945
Contemporary Soundscapes
North American Indigenous Music

Cross-listed Graduate/Undergraduate Courses

World Music
History of the Symphony

Undergraduate Courses

Music History III

 

Publications

Refereed Journal Articles

Forthcoming “A Tribe Called Red’s Halluci Nation: Sonifying Embodied Global Allegiances, Decolonization, and Indigenous Activism.” Intersections.

2017 “‘Welcome to the Tundra’: Tanya Tagaq’s Creative and Communicative Agency as Political Strategy.” Journal of Popular Music Studies 29, no. 4 (Dec).

2017 “Electroacoustic Voices: Sounds Queer, and Why It Matters.” TEMPO 71, no. 280 (April): 68-79.

Refereed Journal Articles 

2015 “Hearing Urban Indigeneity in Canada: Self-Determination, Community Formation, and Kinaesthetic Listening with A Tribe Called Red.” American Indian Culture and Research Journal 39, no. 3: 1-23.

2015 “Music Appreciation and General Education in the College Classroom: Four Activities to Create Meaningful Musical Engagement.” Engaging Students: Essays in Music Pedagogy 3 (August). http://flipcamp.org/engagingstudents3/essays/woloshyn.html.

2014 “Onomatopoeias and Robert Normandeau’s Sonic World of the Baobabs: Transformation, Adaptation, and Evocation.” Cahier d’analyse, Circuit: musique contemporaines 24, no. 2 (August): 67-87.

2009 “Imogen Heap as Pop Music Cyborg: Renegotiations of Power, Gender, and Sound.” Journal on the Art of Record Production, Issue 4: Supplement to ARP08 (Fall).

Conference Proceedings

2016 “Moving Beyond the Weird, Creepy, and Indescribable: Pedagogical Principles and Practices for Listening to Electroacoustic Music in the General Education Classroom.”  eContact! 18.2 (April). 

2013 “Playing with the Voice and Blurring Boundaries in Hildegard Westerkamp’s MotherVoiceTalk.”  eContact! 14.4 (March). 

2011 “Wallace Berry’s Structural Processes and Electroacoustic Music: A Case Study Analysis of Robert Normandeau’s Onomatopoeias Cycle.” eContact! 13.3 (June). 

Encyclopedia Entries

2017 “Kanada,” with Helmut Kallmann in MGG Online, hrsg. von Laurenz Lütteken, Kassel, Stuttgart, New York: 2016ff., veröffentlicht 2017-09-27.

Book Reviews

2016 (2018) “Norma Beecroft. 2015. Conversations with Post World War II Pioneers of Electronic Music. Self-published with assistance from the Canadian Music Centre. E-book.” Intersections 36, no. 1, 103-105. Note: 2016 issue year, released in 2018.

2016 “Ralf von Appen, André Doehring, Dietrich Helms, and Allan F. Moore, editors, Song Interpretation in 21st-Century Pop Music.” Journal of Musicological Research 35, no. 4 (Sept): 353-355.

Working Papers

“Sounding the Halluci Nation: Decolonizing Race, Masculinity, and Global Solidarities with A Tribe Called Red.” In Hearing the Political in Popular Music: Queer and Feminist Interventions, eds. Susan Fast and Craig Jennex (Routledge)

“Creating Identity Through Recording.” In The Bloomsbury Handbook of Music Production, eds. Andrew Bourbon and Simon Zagorski-Thomas

“Reclaiming the ‘Contemporary’ in Indigeneity: The Musical Practices of Cris Derksen, Jeremy Dutcher, and Tanya Tagaq” (for a special issue entitled “The Contemporary in Music” for Contemporary Music Review).

“The Sounds of Decolonization? Rejecting Metaphor and Embodying Resurgence, Resistance, and (Re)Conciliation in Cris Derksen’s Orchestral Powwow (2015).” In Place, Politics and Cultural Exchange: Indigenous-Settler Collaboration in Canadian Art Music, eds. Jeremy Strachan and Patrick Nickleson.

Presentations

2018 “Indigenous Nation-to-Nation Musical Solidarity in Quantum Tangle.” International Association for the Study of Popular Music—Canada, May 27-29

2018 “EQ and Feminized Spaces of Productivity in Toronto.” Canadian University Music Society, May 23–25

2017 “The Sounds of Decolonization? Rejecting Metaphor and Embodying Resurgence, Resistance, and Reconciliation in Cris Derksen’s Orchestral Powwow (2015),” Place, Politics, and Cultural Exchange: Indigenous-Settler Collaboration in Canadian Art Music; Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Music in Canada Research Group (IPMC), May 28

2017 “A Tribe Called Red’s Halluci Nation: Sonifying Embodied Global Allegiances, Decolonization, and Indigenous Activism,” International Association for the Study of Popular Music—Canada, May 25-27

2017 “Sonifying Processes of Decolonization with Electric and Orchestral Powwow,” Society for American Music, March 23-26

2016 “Energizing Learning Communities in the Music History Classroom,” Roundtable, Canadian University Music Society, June 1-3

2016 “‘Welcome to the tundra’: Lessons in Aboriginal Digital Resistance throughTagaq’s Twitter Activism,” International Association for the Study of Popular Music—US/Canada, May 28-30

2015 Panel: “‘Fluidity’ in Current Sonic Practice: Pedagogical and Practical Perspectives,” Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium, August 19–22

2015 “Moving Beyond the Weird, Creepy, and Indescribable: Pedagogical Principles and Practices for Listening to Electroacoustic Music in the General Education Classroom,” Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium, August 19–22

2015 “What’s That Sound? The History of Real and Perceived Agency in the Canadian Electronic Ensemble,” Canadian University Music Society, June 3–5

2015 “Nature, Music, and Technology in Björk’s Biophilia: ‘A Gateway Between the Universal and the Microscopic’,”International Association for the Study of Popular Music—Canada, May 28–30

2015 “Apathy,  Antagonism, and Acceptance: Negotiating Identities through Social Media with Tanya Tagaq,” International Association for the Study of Popular Music—US, February 19–22