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Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

Professor to rock students with ‘Love, Death and Money’


Philosophy professor, Dr. Teed Rockwell, will be center stage in his own  musical performance titled, “Love Death and Money.”

The event will is scheduled for May 3 at Warren Auditorium in Ives Hall, which is being described as a multi-media concert and chautauqua.

For those unfamiliar with a chautauqua, it can be understood as a kind of entertainment and educational lecture.

It’s an old time format seen primarily back in the days of some of our earlier and greatest presidents, such as Abraham Lincoln.

Rockwell is the sole performer of this event, featuring pieces and philosophical influences that he has been writing for about five years.

Amongst learning the guitar and working on the vocals for all of the songs for the past six months, Rockwell has been practicing four-to-five times a week, creating monologue and doing lots of rewriting.

It may end up being similar to presenting philosophy lectures, which Rockwell does all over the world, only this will include less improvisation and be more focused. Audience members will be able to recognize lots of classic songs with country music influences, jazz, rap and even combinations of genres.

“I think students have an ability to listen to song lyrics that they don’t necessarily know how to transfer to reading poetry or philosophy,” said Rockwell. “Making these points in a song will have a better chance of reaching them, because students really do listen very, very carefully to song lyrics.”

There are many things that you can expect to see from this performance, but most importantly it should be to anticipate the unexpected.

The title of the musical act certainly sounds intriguing and one might consider a particular story or message that may be found throughout.

Rockwell will be attempting to make sense of how the three terms “love, death and money” all work with each other, presenting pieces that combine all of these while also looking at each one individually.

“Philosophy is basically a history of magnificent failures,” said Rockwell. “You try to make sense out of the world, to answer the most difficult questions of all time and the only justification for trying is that we can’t live without having some kind of answers.”

Rockwell’s concert will have lots of autobiography, containing influences from performance art he saw in the Bay Area.

Inspiration for the event truly came from the passing of his mother, feeling a need to write a piece which helped him create a coherent theme that became the basis for the concert.

Rockwell has continued to practice and improve, although he is not trying to impress anyone with his guitar skills.

He sees that his need to write songs will bring out a certain authenticity in his performance, achieving a high level of quality from his inspiration.

While philosophical influences play a key role in this concert, roughly two-thirds of the event will be capturing music and the rest will focus on philosophy lecture.

Rockwell, while already being a philosophy teacher, will be playing one that has gone slightly mad while trying to discover more about the limits as to what philosophy can do.

“I really had a hunch that if I tried to do one of these things and not the other, I wouldn’t do either of them that well,” said Rockwell. “I would just be half of a person, there is something in me that needs to do music and there is something in me that needs to do philosophy; in a way this is first time I’ve combined the two together into a single project.”

Rockwell hopes many will attend since he’s been preparing a deeply personal concert and has worked very hard in hopes that people will enjoy it.

He will be able to combine his philosophical, musical and acting personalities together throughout this performance.

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