Lecture: “A Listener’s Guide to the Cosmos”
Andrew Hicks (Cornell University)
From the big bang to the hushed whoosh of gravitational waves, from the poeticism of the ancient music of the spheres to the resonance of the recently discovered K2-138 planetary system, despite the cosmos’ resolute silence, its sounds still captivate our imagination. “A Listener’s Guide to the Cosmos” charts a cross-cultural history of the sounding universe and documents the wagers that humanity has made on our knowledge of the world, and our place within its harmonious aggregate, based on aurality.
Professor Andrew Hicks’ research focuses on the intellectual history of early musical thought from a cross-disciplinary perspective that embraces philosophical, cosmological, scientific and grammatical discourse in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, and spans the linguistic and cultural spheres of Latin, Greek, Persian and Arabic. On faculty at Cornell University, Hicks is cross-appointed to the Program in Medieval Studies, where he serves as the resident Medieval Latinist, is a member of the Graduate Fields of Classics, Near Eastern Studies, the Religious Studies Program, and is affiliated with the Carl Sagan Institute. He is also co-chair and founder of the History of Music Theory Study Group of the AMS, is on the board of the Music and Philosophy Study Group of the AMS and serves on the advisory board for Music and Late Medieval European Court Cultures (an ERC funded project at the University of Oxford).