Tonight: Grateful Dead’s “Dark Star:” A Psychedelic Lecture by Dr. Graeme Boone

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Mickey Capper ’13 reminded me to post about this. Here’s the blurb from the official Facebook page for this event:

Born and raised in San Francisco—the home of the Grateful Dead—Professor of Music Graeme M. Boone attended the University of California at Berkeley, the Universite de Paris, and Harvard University, where he taught before joining the faculty at Ohio State. Following an overview of the band’s early history and style, Dr. Boone’s talk includes the showing of a “mandala movie” which helps elucidate the Dead’s open-ended song “Dark Star,” conveying a holistic, organic analysis of the tune, and incorporating every salient element in the extended, psychedelically evocative improvisations of its first 150 recorded performances.

With lyrics by Robert Hunter and music by Jerry Garcia, “Dark Star” can cover a broad spectrum of moods and musical ideas—incorporating anything from R&B cover songs to outer-space apocalypse—but the attentive listener can also hear lines of force binding the jams together: structuring devices, strategies, and trajectories that direct each improvisation and also serve as fundamental guideposts. An animated movie with changing colors and annotations follows two specific performances of the song, recorded in London on 4/8/72 and 5/23/72 during the band’s European tour that spring (the original 16-track analog tapes of the entire Europe ’72 tour were remixed, mastered in HDCD format, and released by the band in 2011).

Dr. Boone teaches courses in jazz, classical music, and rock, and his research specializes in music of the later Middle Ages, Renaissance, and 20th century. This lecture is co-sponsored by the Music Department and WESU with generous support from American Studies, the Sociology Department, and Dean Andrew Curran.

Date: Tuesday, April 30
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Place: CFA Hall
Cost: Free

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