Nerd Nite March 13th: Game of Thrones and Music as a Language

Monday, March 13th @ 7:00pm  /  $5 Entry. All ages welcome in the banquet hall, but valid ID required for front bar and alcoholic purchases.

17038656_1416474455060489_3480306163108102429_oJesse Fixes Thrones
For those of us even aware that it exists, Game of Thrones is understood to be one of the least popular and commonly derided Epic Fantasy Sagas ever written. Doomed to a single printing and quickly buried underneath the sands of time. In this talk, Jesse Mayhew asks the ‘tough’ questions: How could a stag kill a dire wolf? The utility of Piscine Heraldry. Was the Red Wedding red enough?

Jesse Mayhew is the host of the Podcast The Chairmen of the Boards: A Podcast about board games, board game culture, and the trials of adult male virginity. He is actually quite fond of Game of Thrones.

Is Music a Language?
Music can make us sad or happy, it can surprise us or calm us, and it can tell complicated and subtle stories. But even though music can communicate all these things, is it actually a language? If it is, what are its words? What are its parts of speech? How does music communicate complicated ideas through its notes, chords, and melodies?

This talk will outline some ways that music acts like – and does not act like – spoken language by tweaking several models from computational linguistics to show how they apply – and do not apply – to music.

Christopher White is an Assistant Professor of Music Theory at UMass Amherst. Chris remains an avid organist, having studied with Haskell Thompson and James David Christie. As a member of the Three Penny Chorus and Orchestra, he has appeared on NBC’s Today Show and as a quarterfinalist on America’s Got Talent.

We will also be donating 50% of the proceeds to the Northampton Arts Council. Here’s a little about them:

The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its’ goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as Transperformance and Four Sundays in February, and advocating on behalf of the arts community.

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