Hello post: new intern at Liden & Denz
09 February, 2017
My name is Ryan Gourley and I am from sun-soaked San Antonio, Texas. I will start my first blog post with a game; the answer will be revealed at the end of the post. Two of the following statements are truthful, and one is a lie:
- (А) I was featured in a solo photography art exhibition at the Granoff Center for the Arts in Providence, Rhode Island.
- (Б) I performed on the snare drum with an orchestra at the world famous Carnegie Hall in New York City.
- (В) On my 2.5 acre ranch in Texas, I have two horses and a cow.
Getting back to the blog post, I aspire to become a professor of ethnomusicology. My specific interests center on the production of jazz and popular music in Eastern Europe during the Soviet Era, and how the music of the various ethnic groups in this region functioned within the imposed Soviet cultural ideology. In my final semester at Brown University, I created www.coldwarjazz.og – an interactive online resource for jazz behind the Iron Curtain. The website addresses the relationship of jazz musicians to the various state-controlled social institutions during the Soviet era, the development of jazz inspired countercultures, and the stylistic variation of jazz across the Eastern Bloc and Soviet Union. I intend to maintain this website and pursue similar research in graduate school, which investigates the relationship between nationalism and music, music as a means of social identity, and the involvement of the State in socio-musical institutions.
Beyond my academic interests, I love to travel, visit art museums, play percussion, and watch old Soviet movies. On a day-to-day basis I like to keep up with my favorite YouTube channels and read through The New Yorker; all while consuming far too many cups of Earl Grey tea. Here in Saint Petersburg I work as a full-time videography intern for Liden & Denz, producing videos about daily life, Russian culture, and language learning tips. This is my second extended stay in Saint Petersburg and my first experience of the infamous Russian winter. As a Texan, I still find myself a bit starry-eyed every time it starts to snow (which it does often during this time of the year). I have yet to find a suitable шапка-ушанка (shapka-ushanka), but so far the cold weather definitely seems manageable, despite my upbringing in a humid-subtropical climate. Keep an eye out for my videos on the Liden & Denz YouTube page!
[P.S. – if you guessed that choice (В) was the lie, you are correct! Although I am from Texas, my family does not own a ranch.]