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Music in the Age of Streaming – Nordic Perspectives

Posted: December 18th, 2019 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

IASPM-Norden conference 2020
Music in the Age of Streaming – Nordic Perspectives

PITEÅ, SWEDEN, 15–17 JUNE 2020

The IASPM-Norden conference aims to shed light on various aspects of streaming of/in popular music within the Nordic context. Nordic popular music is a dynamic field comprising a great variety of artists, music producers and entrepreneurs on both ends of the cultural spectrum, from commercially successful to less known and underground. More broadly, listening to popular music has become an evermore accessible activity in people’s everyday life, and so have the “streams” of music flowing across many borders – geographical, ideological, socioeconomic, cultural, disciplinary, etc. In addition to the everyday distribution and listening of music through digital networks, we contend specifically that “streaming” may also be used to conceptualize musical cultures beyond the scope of Spotify or other streaming services. That said, even an analysis of a platform like Spotify may benefit from an approach that investigates the deeper currents and flows of its streams, as pursued by Spotify Teardown (Eriksson et al. 2019) recently. With this conference we wish to engage with the many intersections of musical streams and invite papers that highlight the ways in which “streaming” characterize music and musical cultures.

The conference welcomes investigations across a wide range of disciplines, including, but not limited to, musicology, ethnomusicology, sociology, anthropology, diaspora and transnational studies, gender and queer studies, cultural, media and communication studies. We invite submissions on, but not limited to, the following themes:

  • Streaming as mode of distribution: Streaming services, the music industry, and the political economy of streaming.
  • Streaming as a cultural technique of power: Data mining, gendered streaming, racialized streaming, platform politics, marketing.
  • Streaming as a mode of listening: Everyday streaming and mobile music.
  • Stream/ström/strøm (Scandinavian for electricity): Electronic music and digital music; political ecology of streaming and the environmental aspects of electric power generation that enables streaming.
  • Streams as movements: Genres, styles, histories, and aesthetic/political/cultural movements.
  • Geographic streams: From waterways to demographic movements; music, space/place, environment, climate, migration and diaspora.
  • Stream = the current: The contemporary in popular music/contemporary popular music.

The conference committee welcomes individual papers and proposals for panels and roundtable discussions.

Please use one of the following formats when submitting an abstract proposal:

  • For individual 20-minute contributions: Abstracts of up to 300 words.
  • For themed paper sessions or panel discussions: Up to 300 words per contribution plus 300 words outlining the rationale for the session.
  • For sessions of up to 120 minutes in innovative formats such as work presentations, artist talks/readings, sound essays, composition workshops, and other presentations not covered by the usual format of academic papers: Up to 750 words outlining the form, content and rationale for the session.
  • Please include a list of key terms, a biographical by-line of no more than 50 words, and specification of any AV-technology and/or other equipment needed.

Program Draft

The conference will host a special joint keynote from Yngvar Kjus and Anja Nylund Hagen of the research project Music on demand: Economy and copyright in a digitised cultural sector at the University of Oslo. More information: https://www.hf.uio.no/imv/english/research/projects/music-on-demand-economy-and-copyright-in-a-digiti/index.html .

There is also an artist keynote by Joakim Nilsson, a member of the Swedish hip hop trio Movits!. Originating from Piteå and Luleå the trio has gained international success and been touring Europe, Asia and the US with their unique mixture of hip-hop, jazz and pop. Joakim will, in his keynote, talk about how streaming and especially the streaming service of Spotify has affected their musicianship, relation to the music industry and relation to fans. More information: https://www.movits.se/

There will be also a symposium lead by the professor Patrick Burkart (Texas A&M University) presenting and reflecting upon the outcomes of the LTU-based project  Evolving Bildung in the nexus of streaming services, art and users – Spotify as a case initiated by professor Cecilia Ferm Almqvist. Burkart, with Tom McCourt, is the author of the recent work Why Hackers Win: Power and Disruption in the Network Society as well as earlier Digital Music Wars. Burkart’s bibliography also includes works such as Pirate Politics, Music and Cyberliberties.

More details of the program will be announced later.

Important dates:

  • The new postponed deadline for abstract submission, with a clear specification of the format, is 12 January, 2020. The abstract proposal should be sent to [email protected] .
  • Letters of acceptance will be sent latest by 31st January, 2020.
  • Last date for the registration is 20 April 2020.

Welcome to Piteå in June 2020!

Hans T. Zeiner-Henriksen, IASPM-Norden chair

Cecilia Ferm Almqvist, Professor in music education (Piteå School of Music at Luleå University of Technology)

Conference is jointly organised by the Nordic branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM-Norden) and the research project Evolving Bildung in the nexus of streaming services, art and users – Spotify as a case at Luleå University of Technology (LTU).

The conference is partly funded by Marcus & Amalia Wallenberg foundation.

More information: [email protected] .


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