New book, The Pop Festival, from Rhythm Changes, with jazz festival research

May 15 2015 Published by under News, Publication

McKay The Pop Festival lo-res coverWe are delighted to announce the publication this summer of The Pop Festival: History, Music, Media, Culture (Bloomsbury), edited by George McKay, which features contributions from other Rhythm Changes scholars too: Anne Dvinge, Andrew Dubber, Nick Gebhardt. Altogether there are 14 essays from UK, USA, Europe, Australia (see table of contents below). The book is well-illustrated with archive and contemporary images of festival posters, ephemera, and includes a photo-essay on the British counterculture. Here’s what scholars in the field have been saying about it already: ‘nothing less than an alternate history of popular music since the Second World War’ — Prof William Straw; ‘a lively, challenging, accessible and eclectic collection’ — Prof Chris Gibson; ‘[in] this wonderful book, McKay assembles a series of masterful essays’ — Prof Andy Bennett.

In particular essays by Anne (Detroit Jazz Festival) and George (feat. Beaulieu Jazz Festival, 1956-61) deal with the jazz festival. Here’s a short extract from Anne’s excellent study of Detroit, ‘Musicking in Motor City: reconfiguring urban space at the Detroit Jazz Festival’, which draws on her ethnographic and observational research there.

… the festival is intimately tied to the cultural and economic history and geography of Detroit. It functions as a marker of identity as well as a creator of radical space. Issues of production and economic gain, of tourism economy and commercial interests are central, but so are issues of participation and community that transcends the boundaries of the festival and its locale whilst being rooted in both place and tradition. I outline this history and development through three perspectives—the urban concept city, the role of music and the festival’s connection with both. I finally offer a reading of the festival with Christopher Small’s concept of musicking—music as a verb rather than an object—in mind. That is, a ritual that functions as ‘a form of organized behaviour in which humans use the language of gesture … to affirm, to explore, and to celebrate their ideas of how the relationships of the cosmos operate, and thus, how they themselves should relate to it and to one another’. Thus, the jazz festival performs a complex vernacular play and ritual that ultimately celebrates and connects Detroit with its past, present and future. Any city festival may achieve a temporary transformation of the urban; here I show how joy takes root annually in Detroit, and I also discus the specific contribution of the musical practice that is jazz to making a particular kind of festival and transformation.

 


 

The Pop Festival contents

Introduction
George McKay

Chapter 1. ‘The pose … is a stance’: popular music and the cultural politics of festival in 1950s Britain
George McKay

Chapter 2. Out of sight: the mediation of the music festival
Mark Goodall

Chapter 3. ‘Let there be rock!’ Myth and ideology in the rock festivals of the transatlantic counterculture
Nicholas Gebhardt

Chapter 4. ‘As real as real can get’: race, representation, and rhetoric at Wattstax, 1972
Gina Arnold

Chapter 5. The artist at the music festival: art, performance and hybridity
Rebekka Kill

Chapter 6. Photo-essay: Free festivals, new travellers, and the free party scene in Britain, 1981-1992
Alan Lodge

Chapter 7. Festival bodies: the corporeality of the contemporary music festival scene in Australia
Joanne Cummings and Jacinta Herborn

Chapter 8. The Love Parade: European techno, the EDM festival, and the tragedy in Duisburg
Sean Nye and Ronald Hitzler

Chapter 9. Protestival: global days of action and carnivalised politics at the turn of the millennium
Graham St John

Chapter 10. Alternative playworlds: psytrance festivals, deep play and creative zones of transcendence
Alice O’Grady

Chapter 11. No Spectators! The art of participation, from Burning Man to boutique festivals in Britain
Roxanne Robinson

Chapter 12. Musicking in Motor City: reconfiguring urban space at the Detroit Jazz Festival
Anne Dvinge

Chapter 13. Branding, sponsorship, and the music festival
Chris Anderton

Chapter 14. Everybody talk about pop music: Un-Convention as alternative to festival, from DIY music to social change
Andrew Dubber

Index

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HERA The Time and the Place festival and conference, London, 30 May – 1 June

May 23 2013 Published by under Events, News

Time & Place flyer

What is the connection between Bronze Age artefacts, European jazz, medieval manuscripts and photography which captures Europe’s complex colonial past? And how do artists as diverse as gipsy violinist Roby Farkas and his colleagues in the extrovert multi-national band Budapest Bár, or saxophonist/MC/rapper Soweto Kinch, or the hauntingly beautiful Sami voice of Mari Boine fit into the picture? These seemingly disparate subjects form part of The Time and the Place: Culture and Identity in Today’s Europe, a series of concerts and creative interventions from a Europe-wide choice of artists whose music acts as a counterpoint to the themes of a wide-ranging and fascinating group of research projects that reach their conclusion this year.

Members of the Rhythm Changes team are heavily involved in this quite outstanding set of events in London at the end of May, to mark the end of the current round of HERA projects. In fact our Project Leader, Prof Tony Whyton, has worked with HERA and Serious music promoters as lead organiser of much of the activities. There is a conference, panels, debate, presentations, posters and videos about the 19 HERA projects, with speakers from across Europe and worldwide. Also there is a wonderful series of music concerts, focused on national identity, international dialogue and transnational cultural exchange.

From Rhythm Changes, apart from Tony, Prof Walter van de Leur will be speaking about European culture, Prof Andrew Dubber about digital creativity, Prof George McKay about the public value of humanities (and jazz) research. Other team members will be in attendance and contributing in their characteristically lively and engaged manner! Tony and George will also be introducing the live evening concerts. Some of the events are free to the public, some are ticketed. It should be a terrific send-off for HERA 1, as well as a launch for HERA 2 projects. Events include:

Thursday 30 May

British Library, 9 am-5 pm
Final conference on the HERA joint research programme projects

King”s Place evening concert, 8 pm
Budapest Bar

Friday 31 May

King”s College, London, 1-3.30 pm
Cultural Dynamics and Creativity in Digital Europe seminar

King”s Place panel discussion, 6.15-7.30 pm
Does Research Matter? The Public Value of the Humanities

King”s Place evening concerts (two, choose one) 8 pm
Poul Hoxbro and Fraser Fifield
Soweto Kinch and Andreas Schaerer

Saturday 1 June

King”s Place HERA open day, from 10.30 am
feat. four public panels through the day, ideas, discussion, culture, just turn up

King”s Place evening concerts (two, choose one) 8 pm
Mari Boine
Gianluigi Trovesi and Gianni Coscea

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