Mikhail Lopatin

Mikhail Lopatin

Hanna Kiel Fellow
'Vidi cantando': Sonic, Visual, and Verbal Media in Trecento Song
Portrait photo of Mikhail Lopatin


Mikhail Lopatin obtained his PhD in Musicology in 2011 from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire. Since then, his research interests lie mainly in the Italian music of the Trecento. He spent his first year as a postdoctoral scholar at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Basel). In 2014, he was awarded a short-term Mellon fellowship at Villa I Tatti. From 2015 to 2017, he held a Newton International Fellowship at the University of Oxford, where he examined musico-textual relationships and metapoesis in the Trecento repertoire. From 2018 to 2020, Mikhail worked as a Humboldt postdoctoral fellow at the University of Würzburg in Germany. In 2019, he was awarded the Westrup Prize for an article published in Music & Letters.


Project Summary

The repertoire covered in this project is centered on those Trecento-early Quattrocento songs that reference in their texts the lyric persona's auditory and visual perceptions: the sounds, noises, visions, and other related phenomena (s)he hears or sees. In other words, it is about songs that problematize relationships between the media, explore sense perception, and ultimately question the very notion of representation, within one medium (auditory) or across several (e.g., visual, auditory, and verbal). It means that some of these songs are overtly metapoetic and self-reflexive, such as songs about singing or fiction introducing another fiction, whereas others step beyond one medium and reference another, creating more complex labyrinths of sonic, visual, and verbal spaces produced in/by texts and their musical settings. The aim of this project is twofold. First, to develop a working analytical model for the repertoire under consideration which would allow to register and assess different types of intermedial relations in any given song (a) from a variety of perspectives (e.g., that of a composer, reader, or listener) and (b) with a number of possible contexts in mind: viewing songs as notated works in manuscripts, in a variety of performative contexts, and so on. Second, to understand how different forms of intermediality affect a song's meaning and challenges the established boundaries of genre and style, again from an auditory, verbal, and visual points of view.