Welcome to The International Association for the Study of Popular Music UK and Ireland Branch

Renew, Reuse, Recycle: From Quotation to Remediation in Art and Popular Music

Posted: March 4th, 2011 | Filed under: News | No Comments »

Saturday 19 March 2011
Location: CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge

A number of prominent scholars have recently shown a renewed interest in the extraordinary degree and variety of intertextuality and recombination characteristic of contemporary popular musics, particularly in relation to the “remediative” potential of digitally-enabled techniques such as sampling and mash-up. The interest has been both in analysing these techniques as practices, and in assessing their aesthetic potential and effects. But musical borrowings have long been a concern for scholars of hip hop, rap and jazz – in the form of versioning – and of Western art music – in the form of quotation and allusion. Although this conference focusses on late twentieth-century and contemporary popular musics as the key site of the re-emergence of a concern with these processes, consideration of this broader historical context enables us to raise new questions: What are the historical continuities in these practices of recycling musical materials? To what extent have evolving technologies – from notated score, to electronic recording, to digital music media – reshaped or extended these aesthetic practices? How do our developing theoretical frameworks and evolving understandings of different musical epochs and genres affect our conception of and reactions to musical borrowings?

This provocative title functions as a direct challenge to nineteenth-century ideals of originality, drawing attention to the wider question of the role of reusing material as a form of renewal, of sustainable creativity. Accepting that musical experience – whether production or reception – is inherently intertextual, the conference will consider the complex processes of meaning generation and identity construction that accompany any ontological incarnation of music. As such, our approach is fundamentally interdisciplinary, and aims to bring together the work of cultural theorists, social scientists, musicologists and historians; with such a diverse temporal and disciplinary framework we aim to shed new light on specific questions and perspectives.

Speakers include Professor Ingrid Monson (keynote), Professor Nicholas Cook, Dr Sam Barrett, Dr Laura Biron, Dr Guido Heldt, Dr Jason Toynbee, and Dr Emanuele Senici. The conference programme also incorporates a discussion session (chaired by Professor Anahid Kassabian) with a panel of practioners: film composer Brian Lock, mash-up artist Geoff Gamlen, and electro-acoustic composer Julio d’Escriván.

This conference is hosted and sponsored by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH); please see the website for more details and for registration: http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/1331.

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