Athenaeum Library Book Arts Lecture

Special Lectures


Presented by Charissa Noble


Thursdays, November 2, 9 & 16, 2017

All lectures begin at 7:30PM


Exploring common threads between the most controversial artists and composers of the 20th century (and why their work matters).


What does a white canvas, about five minutes of silence in a concert hall, and a shovel have in common? Perhaps “famous work of art” is not the first response, which raises another important question: Why not? What do we think about when we think about “Music” or “Art” as categories, especially in the contemporary era? Perceptions of modern art and music range from obtuse and inscrutable to ugly and seemingly amateur. But what if the key to understanding the work and (surprisingly straightforward) agendas of these artists and composers is to understand how their artistic ideas, political views, and friendship circles intersected? These lectures will provide a direct, accessible look at controversial art and music in the 20th century by looking at the intersecting lives and artistic ideologies of artists and composers, posing the idea that the connections between modern art and music are, in fact, essential to understanding both. 


Charissa Noble is a vocalist and Ph.D. candidate in cultural musicology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Charissa Noble has a background as an opera singer, composer, and music theorist, and later earned a master’s degree in musicology at San Diego State University with a secondary emphasis in 20th Century American Art. Her research interests include 20th century experimental vocal techniques, electronic music, and performance art. Charissa frequently speaks in academic contexts, such as the 2016 national meeting of the American Musicological Society, the recent 2017 meeting of the International Society for Minimalist Music, and an upcoming engagement at Cornell University for Spring 2018. Additionally, her work has been featured in journals published by UCLA, USC, SUNY Buffalo, and Society for American Music. Charissa is also deeply committed to the advancement of the local arts scene in San Diego, performing new works by young composers and speaking at gallery shows. 


Joan and Irwin Jacobs Music Room

Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

1008 Wall Street

La Jolla, CA 92037



Series tickets: $30 for members/ $45 for nonmembers

Individual tickets: $12 for members/ $17 for nonmembers



Online tickets are subject to ticketing fees.