Book Launch, Talk, and Performance / “The Ancient Phonograph,” with Shane Butler and Joseph Keckler

Date: Thursday, 21 January 2016, 7–9 pm
Location: Cabinet, 300 Nevins Street, Brooklyn (map and directions here)
FREE. No RSVP necessary

Listen to an audio recording of this program, or download the file by right-clicking here and selecting "Save link as..."

Please join us to celebrate the publication of Shane Butler’s new book The Ancient Phonograph (Zone Books, 2015). The evening’s program—featuring a talk by Butler and an operatic monologue based on the book’s source texts by singer Joseph Keckler—will delve into the peculiarities and vagaries of the human voice.

In The Ancient Phonograph, Butler offers an ambitious attempt to rethink the voice: as an anatomical presence, a conceptual category, and a source of pleasure and wonder. He takes us back to an age long before Edison and the invention of the phonograph, when the written word was unrivaled as a medium of the human voice. By reconstructing a series of Greek and Roman soundscapes ranging from the time of Aristotle to that of Augustine, Butler shows how the the real voices of tragic actors, ambitious orators, and singing emperors blended with the imagined voices of lovesick nymphs, tormented heroes, and angry gods.

Shane Butler is professor of classics at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of The Hand of Cicero (Routledge, 2002) and The Matter of the Page: Essays in Search of Ancient and Medieval Authors (University of Wisconsin Press, 2011), and co-editor of Synaesthesia and the Ancient Senses (Acumen, 2013).

Joseph Keckler is a singer, writer, and interdisciplinary artist who often transforms his experiences and observations into stories, videos, and arias. He is currently artist-in-residence at the University of Michigan, where he is working on Let Me Die, a durational performance that combines many operatic death scenes.

Beer for this event has been lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery. Refreshments courtesy of Sprizz-O.
Cabinet is published by Immaterial Incorporated, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Cabinet receives generous support from the Lambent Foundation, the Orphiflamme Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Opaline Fund, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Danielson Foundation, the Katchadourian Family Foundation, The Edward C. Wilson and Hesu Coue Wilson Family Fund, and many individuals. All our events are free, the entire content of our many sold-out issues are on our site for free, and we offer our magazine and books at prices that are considerably below cost. Please consider supporting our work by making a tax-deductible donation by visiting here. Thank you for your consideration.