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Research presentation by Jessica Swanston Baker

Date: 9:00am - 10:00am PST January 29, 2016 Location: Evans Hall

Evans Hall

Please join us for a research presentation by visiting scholar Jessica Swanston Baker on January 29 in the Evans Music Center, room 129, 9-10am. The subject of Dr. Baker’s talk will be Too Fast: Music, Coloniality, and Time in St. Kitts and Nevis.


Description: Wylers, the popular music most strongly associated with the annual Christmas carnival in St. Kitts and Nevis, is generally regarded as “too fast.” And yet, while wylers is broadly understood as “too fast,” metric analysis of representative songs does not indicate a major difference in tempo (or beats per minute) between wylers and other, widely accepted, popular Caribbean music such as Trinidadian Power soca or Dominicanbouyon. Why, then, is wylers perceived as “too fast?” What is at stake in making this claim—that is, too fast for whom or for what? Ultimately, a case is made for understanding the rhetoric surrounding wylers as indicative of the strong legacy of colonialism—coloniality—that informs the ways people perceive certain types of sounds and movements. This talk, then, illustrates the presence of historically contextual, and ethically grounded conceptions of tempo and “fastness” in the Kittitian-Nevisian postcolonial moment.