Nerd Nite 11 is on November 14 in the Alton Ballroom at Pachamama’s (8th and New Hampshire)

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three speakers all focusing on a topic related the Soviet Union or an Eastern European country and music


You Sunk My Citizenship? – The Estonian Singing Revolution & Citizenship Dilemma by Dave Trimbach

Dave addresses the Estonian singing revolution and independence movement in relation to the current Estonian citizenship dilemma. The singing revolution freed the once independent Republic of Estonia from illegal Soviet occupation, yet spurred the revocation of citizenship from over one third of the country’s population. The revocation of citizenship entrenched deep political and social divisions within Estonian society that continue to hinder minority integration.

Dave Trimbach is a currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Human Geography at the University of Kansas. He is a proud Ohioan and husband. He is fascinated by political inclusivity, equitable political representation, and citizenship. When not studying . . . well he is usually studying.

Notes from the Underground: Dissident Music in the Soviet Union by Austin Charron

Despite strict ideological guidelines and censorship of the arts in the Soviet Union, there existed a vibrant underground and “unofficial” music scene made up of creative musicians who sought to disassociate themselves and their work from the banality of Soviet life. With the reforms of glasnost’ in the late 1980s, rock and other forms of dissident music finally burst into the Soviet mainstream, contributing to an exhilarating new cultural atmosphere which helped bring down the Soviet regime in 1991. The story of Soviet dissident music reminds us that, even under the most seemingly oppressive conditions, artistic expression and the spirit of non-conformity can still prevail.

Austin Charron (Shuh-RON) is a Lawrence transplant from Oregon working on his PhD in Geography at KU. He began studying Russian over nine years ago and has since developed a serious case of Soviet- and post-Sovietophilia, which only gets worse with every trip he makes to the region. In fact, Austin has rambled his way through all 15 former Soviet republics and a good chunk of Eastern Europe, where he’s been robbed, extorted, and detained by local authorities on multiple occasions, been accused of espionage by suspicious drunkards, narrowly escaped a brawl with an angry horde of Kyrgyz taxi drivers, and gotten himself into more sketchy situations than he could ever hope to remember. And he’s loved every minute of it! He’s also pretty into music, and has been collecting old Soviet and Eastern European records since his first trip to Russia in 2006. Austin is also kind of nerdy about palindromes and anagrams, and as such you may also refer to him by his anagrammed pseudonym: Curtis Norahan.

Bar Talk: Bela Bartok, Polymodal Chromaticism & Modern Classical Composition by Steve Dahlberg

In the early 1900’s in the Carpathian Basin on the boundary of Eastern Europe, Bela Bartok, later to become one of that centuries most renowned classical composers, became obsessed with the “unexplored” folk music of the various peoples in that region and began rummaging around the area listening to and documenting what he discovered from a composer’s viewpoint. He made many strange discoveries that heavily impacted his own classical composition and I was particularly intrigued with one such discovery and allowed my fascination with the idea of so-called polymodal chromaticism kick some major structural ass in one of my own classical compositions. We will take contextual, historical and functional (sonic!) glimpses of this small idea with large possibilities and contrast with other more dominant trends in modern composition at the time.