Since joining the Grove Music editorial team, Meghann Wilhoite has been a consistent contributor to the OUPblog. Over the years she has shared her knowledge and insights on topics ranging from football and opera to Monteverdi and Bob Dylan, so we thought it was about time to get to know her a bit better.
Do you play any musical instruments? Which ones?
In order of capability, I play the pipe organ, piano, synths, and guitar. I also sing a bit, but I gave up on my dream of being an opera singer long ago!
Do you specialize in any particular area or genre of music?
As an organist, I mostly play Baroque music (I <3 Bach 5eva), though I recently commissioned an excellent piece from contemporary composer Matthew Hough, which we’ll get to recording as soon as we have the funding. As a pianist, I play lots of different stuff from Classical era onwards. As a synth player and guitarist I play indie rock, mostly stuff I’ve written or stuff I’ve collaborated on.
What artist do you have on repeat at the moment?
My current lifestyle sort of dictates what I listen to right now: I’m either on the subway or blocking out ambient sounds in the office (nothin’ but love for my fellow cube dwellers), which means it’s difficult to listen to stuff where there’s an extreme difference between the loudest and the softest sound. Thus, artists like Interpol, Cocteau Twins (Elizabeth Fraser swoon), and Grimes dominate my playlist; if I had more time in quieter spaces I would also be listening to more avant-garde stuff as well.
What was the last concert/gig you went to?
The last concert I went to was part of the series I help run called Music at First; we were presenting the music of Jerome Kitzke, and it was pretty wild.
How do you listen to most of the music you listen to? On your phone/mp3 player/computer/radio/car radio/CDs?
Phone on the subways, computer (Pandora or Spotify) at work.
Do you find that listening to music helps you concentrate while you work, or do you prefer silence?
Music definitely helps me concentrate while I work, with the exception of creative writing.
Has there been any recent music research or scholarship on a topic that has caught your eye or that you’ve found particularly innovative?
Actually, my most recent scholarship binge has been on historiography, specifically the white-washing of European history (there’s a great Tumblr called MedievalPOC that focuses on the white-washing of European art). I would love to do more research on people of color with regards to the Western music canon (you know, those same hundred or so pieces by the same twenty or so composers that every music history textbook teaches you about).
Who are a few of your favorite music critics / writers?
Anastasia Tsioulcas (NPR, et al.) and Steve Smith (Boston Globe) are two critics/writers whose work I admire. They give an honest take on the music they’re reviewing without getting polemical, and they both promote gender parity within the field.
Meghann Wilhoite is an Associate Editor at Grove Music/Oxford Music Online, music blogger, and organist. Follow her on Twitter at @megwilhoite. Read her previous blog posts on Sibelius, the pipe organ, John Zorn, West Side Story, and other subjects.
Oxford Music Online is the gateway offering users the ability to access and cross-search multiple music reference resources in one location. With Grove Music Online as its cornerstone, Oxford Music Online also contains The Oxford Companion to Music, The Oxford Dictionary of Music, and The Encyclopedia of Popular Music.