Anne’s research centres around festivals and what makes them special for audiences, for musicians and for the spaces they inhabit.
In the context of a discussion around the connection between festivals and places (specifically, places in Europe), we got into a conversation about what festivals mean for people – but also what people (and particularly political people) use them to mean.
What do you think about the connection between festivals and places. Are they reducible to tourism and local identity, is there some greater meaning – or even transcendence to be found within, or is the fact that it’s more complicated than that the thing that is interesting here?
In the interests of sparking conversation and spreading ideas more widely, we thought it would be good to capture a flavour of some of the discussions we’ve been having at our research meeting these past few days, and make them available for you to watch, overhear and respond to.
Think of this series of short videos as conversation starters, an invitation to engage and discuss ideas, as well as just an insight into some of the debates we’ve been having ourselves around these topics.
There are a few of these on the way on a range of different topics. In the above video, George McKay talks about some of the ideas he explored in Circular Breathing – the book he wrote about cultural politics and British jazz.
This is a short video taken by one of the artists involved in the Aftershock Project in Manchester earlier this year. In it, some musicians are composing a song together. A week earlier, most of them had never met. A week later, they had performed that song together on stage in front of a packed audience, and returned to their homes in England, France and Italy.
By itself, the video is fairly unremarkable, though it does give a brief insight into the creative process, which normally would be hidden from an audience. Musicians traditionally tend to like presenting finished things.
But what it represents in terms of a methodology, a process and a way of ‘making internet’ with respect to music (and musicking) is something that really interests me – and has formed the basis for much of my academic work over the past year or so.
Because what’s interesting is not the video itself, but the way in which that video potentially links to other, related videos from within the same context – and makes connections from which narrative meaning can be constructed.
Call it associative vernacular mediation.
In other words, just as you can build something unique with a set of Lego bricks, you can create a multi-perspective story using these rough-and-ready vernacular video clips.
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