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Robert O. Beahrs

Dr. Beahrs is an ethnomusicologist, sound artist, and filmmaker. He studies voices. His fieldwork in Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and the United States links archival research with collaborative ethnography, voice-driven performance practice, audiovisual media, and soundscape art. His current research projects examine listening, instrumentality, and sonic-musical expression in the Tyva Republic and across Inner Asia, with an emphasis on throat-singing techniques called xöömei, kargyraa, and sygyt. He is also working on a collaborative research project studying the social life of music, sound, and mobility with hunter-pastoralists in the Altai Mountain transboundary region (Russia-Mongolia-China) and a sensory study of sound, music-making, and atmosphere with Russian cosmonauts and American astronauts in space flight vehicles. Dr. Beahrs has presented his work at conferences of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Central Eurasian Studies Society, the International Council for Traditional Music, the American Anthropological Association, and the International Convention of Asian Scholars. He has collaborated as a sound artist with performance-makers at FlyTrap Studios (Oakland), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, CounterPulse, Z-Space (San Francisco), Los Angeles Live Arts, and Dock 11 (Berlin). His work has been supported by a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, a CLS Critical Languages Scholarship, an American Councils Combined Research and Language Training Fellowship, a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, and a Social Sciences Research Council (SSRC) Transregional Research Fellowship. He is currently working on an ethnographic film collaboration with the support of the Wenner-Gren Foundation. Dr. Beahrs holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of California, Berkeley and has worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Music and Center for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh and as a visiting scholar in the Department of Music at Stanford University. He has taught courses in global music studies, music and sound in Central Eurasia, and led a graduate seminar on theorizing voice. For more information, please visit www.robeahrs.com.