Dillon Palmer: Infratextuality and Music

Dillon Parmer (University of Ottawa)
Infratextuality and Music: Towards a Generative Model for Musical Meaning and Expression
Music History & Theory Guest Lecture Series

February 23, 2023 at 4pm
CAC Colloquium Room


Dr. Parmer is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa where he teaches voice, lectures on classical and romantic music history, philosophy of music and performance, and conducts research from the music practitioner’s perspective.

Born in Pune (India), Dr. Parmer immigrated to Toronto Canada where he was brought up in the rich musical traditions of the Anglican Church. There he received a thorough musical grounding across a vast repertoire extending from Gregorian Chant to the newest compositions coming out of the University of Toronto. He pursued formal training in voice performance and musicology at the University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario) and then in music theory and musicology at the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, New York) where he was in demand in early music circles.

After moving back to Canada to take a position as musicologist at the University of Ottawa, he contributed several articles to Brahms scholarship, some of which have appeared in such prestigious journals as 19th-Century Music and Journal of Musicology. Concurrently, he expanded his work as a tenor soloist into the standard repertoire in which he has performed in over 70 operatic, oratorio, and concert works. Upcoming engagements include Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, Mozart’s Idomeneo, Iago in Rossini’s Otello, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, and an art song recital paying hommage to Dalton Baldwin.

After putting his scholarly understanding into musical practice, he came to see a disconnect between academic discourse about music and how music actually works in real-world contexts of artistic production. From this point onwards, his research moved in the direction of APaR (Artistic Practice as Research) and disciplinary critique. These new lines of research—which have turned him into something of an outlier in academic circles—are being disseminated in conference papers, guest lectures, and articles. In progress is a book, entitled Facing the Music: A Musician’s Critique of Disciplinary Reason, which amalgamates his thinking and from which the present lecture is an excerpt.

Outside of music, Mr. Parmer enjoys woodworking, fine scale model making, aquascaping, horsebackriding, and, together with his wife and son, competitive martial arts. He is currently training for his 3rd degree black belt in Taekwondo (ITF).



February 23, 2023 - 4:00pm