Ancient Music, Contemporary Art - A Conversation with Frank Gehry and Robert Garfias on Japanese Gagaku, Architecture and Creativity

Event Date: 

Thursday, October 13, 2022 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm

Event Location: 


Event Price: 

Free and open to the public with reservation

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Ancient Music, Contemporary Art - A Conversation with Frank Gehry and Robert Garfias on Japanese Gagaku, Architecture and Creativity

Lecture Recording Now Available

Click to watch the lecture (October 13, 2022):



A special conversation with iconic international architect and designer, Frank Gehry, and renowned ethnomusicologist, Robert Garfias.

Gehry will share his passion for Gagaku, the ancient music of the Japanese

emperors and the secret source of his creative inspiration. with Gartias. who introduced Gehry to Gagaku at UCLA in the 1950s, they will discuss the creative process, the role of tradition for innovation. and the relations between material buildings and immaterial sounds through the medium of space.

This event was hosted by UC Santa Barbara's AD&A Museum, architect and

curator Dr. Silvia Perea, and Professor Fabio Rambelli, International Shinto

Foundation Chair in Shinto Studies, Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, and director of the Gagaku Project at UCSB.


Frank Gehry

Raised in Toronto, Canada, Frank Gehry moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1947. He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Southern California in 1954 and studied City Planning at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design before opening his own agency in Los Angeles in 1962. In subsequent years, Gehry has built an architectural career that has spanned over six decades and produced public and private buildings in America, Europe and Asia. His work has earned him several of the most significant awards in the architectural field, including the Pritzker Prize. Notable projects include Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California, USA; Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, France; and the LUMA / Parc des Ateliers in Arles, France, among many others. Works under construction include Facebook campuses in Menlo Park, California and Redmond, Washington; the Grand Avenue Project in Los Angeles, California, and a new headquarters for Warner Brothers in Burbank, California.   


Robert Garfias

Dr. Robert Garfias is one of the leading ethnomusicologists of our time. Former Dean of the School of Fine Arts at the University of California Irvine, among his many honors, he served on the National Council on the Arts of the National Endowment for the Arts and is past president of the Society for Ethnomusicology. In May 2005, he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by the Emperor of Japan and was granted an audience with the Emperor. He has traveled widely in connection with his research: to Japan, Burma, The Philippines, Korea, Romania, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Central America, Mexico, Okinawa and, most recently, Turkey. Author of several articles and books on the many music traditions that he has studied, he has also been a strong and outspoken advocate for cultural diversity and of the many folk and ethnic artistic traditions of the many cultures within the United States.