Dr. Daniele Shlomit Sofer (they/them) is Assistant Professor of music theory and music technology at the University of Dayton and co-founder of the LGBTQ+ Music Study Group. Dr Sofer’s scholarship examines various means of electronic mediation, exploring how gender cuts dynamically across current social justice activism, postcolonial resistances, as well as historical and systemic constitutions of race and sexuality. Their articles in American Music and Organised Sound journals investigate how sex manifests audibly in electronic music, pointing specifically to perceived gender as a consideration for how and why sex features so prominently in works like Alice Shields’s Apocalypse (1990-4) and Barry Truax’s Song of Songs (1992). These articles anticipate their monograph, Making Sex Sound: Vectors of Difference in Electronic Music (MIT Press 2022), featuring detailed analyses of music as wide-ranging as Schaeffer and Henry’s Symphonie pour un homme seul (1950-1), Pauline Oliveros’s “eye fuck!” (1992), Donna Summer’s “Love to Love You, Baby” (1975), TLC’s FanMail (1999) and several recent songs by Janelle Monáe and THEESatisfaction.
Working to improve, expand, and broaden definitions of scholarly engagement, as part of their work with the LGBTQ+ Music Study Group, Dr. Sofer coordinates workshops for university students, educators, researchers and administrators to consider the unique experiences of LGBTQ2IA+ individuals in higher education as well as facilitating dialogues between individuals across many academic domains to empower individuals and strengthen their pipelines toward success. They are invested in initiatives that lift up members of communities traditionally marginalized by university’s opaque organization by introducing sustainable and long-term access to open educational resources.
Emerging from these ambitions, their recent research into sociotechnical bias and inclusion in music digitization has hinged on institutional access, digital design, categorization and curation as these relate to music. This work interrogates networks of association via gender, sexuality, race, class, geography and other aspects of human networks. They have also published on these themes in Contemporary Music Review and Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie. Their volume Elizabeth Maconchy: Music as Impassioned Argument (Universal Edition, 2018), edited with Christa Brüstle, is the first full-length book dedicated to the composer, and features contributions from her two daughters, family photos, and a complete list of the composer’s works. Dr. Sofer’s work has been funded by the Society for Music Theory, the American Musicological Society’s AMS 75 Publication Awards for Young Scholars Endowment, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Förderprogramm Forschung 2013+, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), and others.
Dr. Sofer graduated summa cum laude from the State University of New York at New Paltz with a BA in music performance (viola and piano) and honors. They hold Master’s degrees from Binghamton University (New York) in piano performance and Stony Brook University (New York) in music history and theory, with a thesis on Prokofiev’s opera The Gambler, a project that brought their to St. Petersburg, Russia as an Erasmus student. Dr. Sofer studied music theory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, working as an assistant to Brian Hyer, and thereafter completed a PhD with distinction at the Kunstuniversität Graz, where their dissertation in the faculty of the Institute for Musical Criticism and Aesthetical Research, advised by Andreas Dorschel, was awarded with distinction.
Dr. Sofer has enjoyed touring as a violist, fiddler, chorister, répétiteur, and sound technician, performing in New York City, Boston, San Francisco, Graz, Haifa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and many smaller cities around the globe.