Daniel B. Sharp

Scholarly Retreats
Type of work

Daniel B. Sharp is a music and sound scholar trained in ethnomusicology who focuses on popular and experimental music in the Americas. He is Associate Professor and Chair of Music at Tulane University, jointly appointed in Latin American Studies. His first two books are about Brazilian musicians working to overturn sedimented ways of understanding nostalgia and the primitive. The project he worked on at A Studio in the Woods is “Playfully imagining alien ears in The Discovery of Voyager: a performance in a New Orleans sculpture garden,” a chapter in a book project about the immersive sound art installation known as the Music Box Village. The Discovery of Voyager was an impish speculative production drawing on Sun Ra’s Afro-Futurism that imagined the implications of inhabitants of another planet listening to the Golden Record launched into space in 1977 on board NASA’s Voyager probes.

“My time at A Studio in the Woods was very productive for several reasons. It gave me the precious uninterrupted time to more deeply think through my angle for this writing project. I was able to more clearly sort through the project’s many puzzle pieces of sound art installations, experimental music, and the dynamics of being a one-of-a-kind outdoor music venue while also serving as a community arts organization in a rapidly changing Bywater neighborhood. It also reminded me of what is at stake in writing about New Orleans. Between walking through the woods with Dave, who has a meticulous and uncompromising perspective on the hurricane ecology of the area, and breaking bread with the concurrent fellows, Sidiki Conde and Sabine McCalla, the project gained significance in how I was thinking about it.” – Daniel B. Sharp