Trine Humanities Symposia covers Les Paul

By Jarod Davis
Communication ’20

Les PaulTrine University’s Spring 2020 Humanities Symposia continues Tuesday, Feb. 4, with “Les Paul: Composing Through the Times.”

The Symposia is presented by Trine’s Department of Humanities and Communication (HAC). Sessions are held in Wells Theater inside Taylor Hall, with each symposium set to begin at 3:30 p.m.

Christine Olding, Ph.D., assistant professor in Trine’s Department of Humanities and Communication, will present “Les Paul: Composing Through the Times.” Olding will discuss how Lester William Posfuss, better known as Les Paul, changed how audiences listen to music.

Les Paul was not only a famous musician, but also an inventor. He designed the solid-body electric guitar and introduced revolutionary recording techniques. To this day, Paul’s work continues to be heard in rock, jazz and country. He’s the only person to be in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Christine OldingAccording to Olding, “Paul, an inventor and musician, was born at the turn of the 20th Century and changed the face of music forever. Examining Paul's history and lack of traditional composing processes, I will discuss how despite Paul's inability to read musical notes he was able to invent and solidify current recording technology that would change how audiences hear sound.”

Trine’s Humanities Symposia is free and open to the public. Talks usually last about 30 minutes and are immediately followed by time for any questions, which usually leads to a total time of one hour. Wells Theater seats 75 guests, so attendees are encouraged to arrive early if they have specific seating preferences.

For more information about the Symposia, contact Melissa Mayus, Ph.D., assistant professor in Trine’s Department of Humanities and Communication, at

Photos: Top, Les Paul performs at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City in October 2008 (Thomas Faivre-Duboz / Wikimedia Commons). Bottom, Christine Olding, Ph.D.

Last Updated: 01/27/2020