Building Musical Alliances with Mellon Public Scholar Hannah Adamy

Woman wearing a blank shirt and earrings smiling in front of plants
Hannah Adamy

By the UC Davis Humanities Institute (DHI) on February 10, 2020

"Hannah Adamy, a 2019 Mellon Public Scholar, spent her summer creating spaces for women and gender-expansive musicians in Sacramento to come together and jam. As a Ph.D. candidate in Music with an emphasis on ethnomusicology, Adamy’s scholarship has, over the years, attended to women singers—such as the experimental vocalist Tanya Tagaq—and her work as a Mellon Public Scholar in 2019 extended that research to a very local group. Adamy’s research into the music scene allowed her to get out of her books and offered a chance to 'integrate [herself] into the Sacramento music scene as a musician and performer.' 

For her Mellon project, Building Alliances Among Women and Gender-Expansive Musicians in Sacramento, Adamy created circumstances for women and gender-expansive musicians in Sacramento to come together and play music of any kind. Sacramento, Adamy explained, has a very active funk, soul, and R&B scene. It also has a 'robust punk contingent, classic rock, bluegrass, and folk contingent; singer-songwriters,' as well as conservatory-trained jazz musicians.

Adamy began her project by asking, 'What does it mean for women and gender-expansive musicians to come together and jam when they come from so many different places?' And what does it sound like when they do so? Her goal was to create interdisciplinary musical scholarship and make sure participants were 'speaking the same language,' yet 'as is the way of public scholarship, [that goal] morphed and changed.'"

Read the full story at UC Davis Humanities Institute