University of Wisconsin-Madison Announces Fall 2021 Interdisciplinary Artist-in-Residence
Aug 31, 2021
The University of Wisconsin–Madison Division of the Arts welcomes Arun Luthra as the fall 2021 interdisciplinary artist-in-residence. Saxophonist, composer and konnakol artist Arun Luthra is an American musician of Indian heritage who fuses Black American Music with elements of Indian classical music, especially konnakol (South Indian classical music vocal percussion). He connects a wide range of modern and classic musical influences to create a vibrant new sound and style.
He is the leader of the Konnakol Jazz Project, who have performed across the Americas, Asia, Europe and Australia. Luthra has studied and performed with notable Hindustani and Carnatic music masters and also shared the stage and recorded with many of the greatest Black American Music, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, pop and world music artists. He is also a faculty member of the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music at the New School’s College of Performing Arts in New York.
For the semester, Luthra is teaching “The Universal Language of Rhythm: Explorations Through Konnakol and Black American Music,” a 3-credit course. This course is an introduction to konnakol – the Carnatic (South Indian classical music) art form of vocalizing rhythms, as well as an exploration of the blending of konnakol with other musical traditions – particularly Black American music, and a survey of the concept of rhythm as a universal phenomenon which defines our world. Students will present works that incorporate konnakol concepts into creative projects ranging from music to poetry, prose, dance, and beyond.
To supplement the course and residency, Luthra is hosting guest artists in the course virtually. They include B.C. Manjunath, Camille Thurman and Selvaganesh Vinayakram.
In addition to the course, multiple events will be held during the fall semester.
To learn more, view the residency website at go.wisc.edu/luthra.
The fall 2021 Interdisciplinary Artist-in-Residence Teaching Program is presented by the UW–Madison Division of the Arts and hosted by the Mead Witter School of Music with Professor Johannes Wallmann as lead faculty. Wallmann is also the Director of Jazz Studies. Co-sponsors include the Center for South Asia, the Department of Anthropology and the Wisconsin Union Theater along with the Arts + Literature Laboratory and the Wisconsin Science Festival.
The UW–Madison Division of the Arts has hosted world-class artists-in-residence since 1995 and formally launched the Interdisciplinary Arts Residency Program (IARP) in 1999. This program brings innovative artists to UW–Madison to teach semester-long, interdisciplinary courses and to publicly present their work for campus and community audiences. The program recently changed its name to the Interdisciplinary Artist-in-Residence Teaching (IART) Program. IART is made possible by funding from the university’s Office of the Provost.