This paper focuses on how literary music-character pairing can effectively and uniquely convey characteral identity in a manner unattainable through words alone. It will explore what it is about music’s semantically abstract language that specifically allows for such revelation, through a focused study of the character of Jonah Strom and his association with John Dowland’s song “Time Stands Still” in Richard Powers’ novel The Time of Our Singing.

The author, Emma Hooper is a lecturer for the Humanities and Cultural Industries department at Bath Spa University, UK. She recently completed a Ph.D. in Musico-Literary studies from the University of East Anglia (school of Creative and Critical writing), and holds an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University and a BA (hons) in combined Music and Writing from the University of Alberta, Canada. Research interests include Musico-Literary Studies, Intermediality, Music as Cultural Language, Music as Inter-Cultural Communication Tool, Creative Writing, The Novel as Form, and Semiotics of Structure Play. As well as academic pursuits, Hooper is a published author of many genres, whose recent novel, 14 Variations From White, was short-listed for the Dundee International Book Prize and longlisted for the Myslexia Novel Prize. Hooper is also an active freelance viola player whose recent gigs include backing up Peter Gabriel at WOMAD, and a solo performance of her own act Waitress for the Bees which earned her a Finnish Cultural Knighthood.

Read Emma Hooper’s article here.