Podcast, Arts & Culture

Earworm and Event — with Eldritch Priest

April 26, 2022
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SFU's School for the Contemporary Arts Assistant Professor Eldritch Priest joins this episode Below the Radar to discuss the potential in nonsense and failure,  the phenomenon of the earworm, and his journey from musicianship to employing theory.

In this episode, Eldritch explores his beginnings as a jazz guitarist,  the practices that guide his work and his teachings, and the path that led him to composition and beyond. He dives into the legitimacy and aesthetic possibilities of failure and nonsense, and the potentials of daydreaming and a resting mind — in defiance of prevailing positivist neoliberal discourse. 

Eldritch also talks about the phenomenon of the earworm, which is a focus in his new book, Earworm and Event. The earworm, to him, is a prime example of studying music less as an artform, but more as a technology, using the imagination to shape not just one's feelings, but one’s thoughts as well.

About Our Guest

Eldritch Priest

Eldritch Priest writes on sonic culture, experimental aesthetics, and the philosophy of experience from a ’pataphysical perspective.

He is Associate Professor in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University. Eldritch is also a composer and improviser as well as a member of the experimental theory group “The Occulture.” He is the author of several essays and books including Boring Formless Nonsense: Experimental Music and the Aesthetics of Failure (Bloomsbury 2013) and most recently, Earworm and Event: Music, Daydreams, and other Imaginary Refrains (Duke University Press 2022). 

Cite This Episode

Chicago Style

Priest, Eldritch. “Earworm and Event — with Eldritch Priest” Below the Radar, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement. Podcast audio, April 26, 2022.



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