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Ashon Crawley

The Lonely Letters: On the Hammond B-3 Sense and Sound Experience

Performative Lecture


Saturday, December 9th, 3 pm

372, Ste-Catherine St. West, Space 507
Tiohtià:ke/Montréal (QC) H3B 1A2

T: 514 861-9992


Image : Sticky Stage in and with Arena, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, 2016. Photo de Claudia Gienger

Ashon Crawley is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and African American and African Studies at the University of Virginia. His research and teaching experiences are in the areas of Black studies, performance theory and sound studies, philosophy and theology, and Black feminist and queer theories. His first book, Blackpentecostal Breath: The Aesthetics of Possibility (Fordham University Press, 2017) is an investigation of aesthetics and performance as modes of collective and social imaginings otherwise.

Image : Ashon Crawley, The Lonely Letters: On the Hammond B-3 Sense and Sound Experience, 2017. Image: Alex Robichaud

The Lonely Letters is an in-progress text of autobiofiction in which writer and philosopher Ashon Crawley collectively considers the relationship of quantum theory, mysticism and blackness through an engagement with the noisemaking practices of Blackpentecostal spaces. In focusing on the relationship between the Hammond B-3 organ and sense and sound experience, Crawley will perform a meditation between friends, and between would-be lovers, about how the performance of and the listening to the Hammond B-3—and its chord changes, arpeggios, volume, timbre and tone—can elucidate experiences of black social life. The Hammond B-3 organ is an under-thought instrument, despite its presence in Blackpentecostal spaces before church services begin, throughout their duration and after their end, punctuating the sounds of praise, prayer and preaching. Building on the work in Blackpentecostal Breath: The Aesthetics of Possibility (2017), this performative lecture will attempt to build connective tissue between what might seem to be disparate ways of thinking worlds known and unknown—the religious and the scientific, the noisy and the musical—with hopes of considering the epistemologies of quantum physics as Blackpentecostal.


The Lonely Letters: On the Hammond B-3 Sense and Sound Experience is collaboratively programmed by cheyanne turions and Pip Day as a preface to SBC’s upcoming programme which will be rooted in the practices of care, study and deep listening, while considering the potential and limits of institutions.




Accessibility Information


The Belgo Building and SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art are wheelchair accessible. There is one wheelchair accessible, gender-neutral bathroom on SBC’s floor. Folding chairs will be available for seating. The event is free and kid-friendly.


We ask attendees to refrain from using scented products prior to the event or bringing them to the gallery space - including (but not limited to) perfume and cologne - to minimize risk for people with environmental sensitivities. People with scent sensitivities should note that the Belgo building as a whole does not have a scent-free policy.


Further accessibility information is available on our website.


To reserve priority seating or to bring forward any other accessibility needs, requests or questions please contact Hikaru by phone at 514.861.9992 or by email at If possible, we ask that accessibility requests be made at least three days before the event to best meet these requests and to make our events as accessible as our capacity allows.

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