“Between Sound and Silence”: Quaker Mysticism and Music

Kyle Fulford (Indiana University and Traditional Arts Indiana)

This presentation features the ethnographic case study of Carrie Newcomer, a Quaker folk musician and recording artist. My analysis builds on the work of Richard Bauman (1983) and his notion of sound and silence as a symbolic complex of performative belief. The essay extends Bauman’s analysis to musical performance and the “silent” practice of songwriting. I contend that the reflexive, individualized process of songwriting is an inward reflection of Quaker values expressed in the music of Carrie Newcomer.

Part of 06-10 Music and Identity, Friday, October 14, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm