Tag Archives: regina

Kelly Best Reflects on Spaces of Violence, Sites of Resistance

Kelly Best, a PhD candidate at Memorial University offers her reflections on the 2010 meeting of the IASPM Canada chapter at the University of Regina’s Interactive Media and Performance Labs.

From June 3rd to June 6th, scholars, artists, b-boys, and b-girls converged on the campus of the University of Regina (et environs) to share in the 2010 joint meeting of IASPM-Canada and the Canadian Society for Traditional Music (CSTM). Expertly organized and executed by Charity Marsh (CRC) and her hardworking crew of dedicated assistants from the Interactive Media (IMP) Labs at the University of Regina, the conference provided ample opportunity to discuss issues of music, meaning, and violence, to hear many performances, and to participate in hip-hop workshops. We also had opportunity to celebrate with Beverley Diamond at the official launch of her festschrift. While all of the activities and presentations I attended were enriching experiences, a few themes and events stood out.

Frequently discussed were the tensions between musical meaning, violence, artistic intention, and social impact. Thom Blake and his colleague from University of York, UK made this clear in their presentation on the ambivalent intentions of Terre Thaemlitz, a UK-based, experimental sonic artist who makes contradictory claims on the efficacy and intention of his musical exploration of the politics of transgendered bodies.

Incredibly gracious on both sides and as close to an intellectual battle as I have ever witnessed, was Martin Daughtry’s response to a portion of Susan Fast and Kip Pegley’s co-presentation on Judith Butler’s analysis and theorization of a group performance of a Latino-American reinterpretation of The Star Spangled Banner – an event that, according to Daughtry, did not occur. His critique raised important questions about the representation of “fact/truth” by postmodernists, like Butler, who theorize about music and violence.

Ellen Waterman’s paper on her research with assistive musical technology showed importance of improvisational play in the lives of the differently-abled and the subtle violence afflicted on them by making the assumption all creative expression be part of corrective “therapies.”

Keynote speaker Jocelyne Guilbault’s insightful presentation on Soca music in Trinidad gave compelling examples of how music can both resist and reinforce violence within diverse communities.

I also had the opportunity to participate in the expertly facilitated DJ workshop held in the Interactive Media and Performance Labs.  The only facility of its kind in North America, the lab was filled with sets of industry-standard turntables, laptops, mixers, and headphones.  DJ Hippo showed us how to drop a beat.

Drop a beat we did (or tried to do, in my case).  But skip a beat they did not. The Saturday night party held in Charity Marsh’s beautiful backyard was the brilliant grand finale to three evenings worth of deeply moving performances (including a surprise appearance by Regina’s finest). And did I mention the food? Like the delectables we delegates daily enjoyed, this conference was fresh, local, and ample. And all was implemented with unprecedented grace and generosity. The 2010 IASPM-Canada/CSTM meeting in Regina has been the highlight of my year. I offer sincere thanks to all those involved.

Kelly Best

PhD (Cand.)

Memorial University

CFP – Historiography: Writing about Music in Canada – June 2, 2010

Regina, SK June 2, 2010

One day prior to the “Spaces of Violence, Sites of Resistance: Music, Media and Performance” conference on Wednesday, June 2nd there will be a symposium on “Historiography: Writing About Music in Canada” held at the University of Regina.

The co-organizers of this symposium, Dr. Mary Ingraham and Dr. Dylan Robinson, would like to invite you to join us here at the University of Regina. The CFP and description of the symposium are below.

Please feel free to contact Mary (mary.ingraham (at) ualberta (dot) ca) or Dylan (dylan.robinson (at) utoronto (dot) ca) if you have any questions about the CFP, a proposal for presentation, or suggestions for readings on the topic.

If you plan to attend the symposium on June 2nd please contact the IMP Labs (IMPLabs (at) uregina (dot) ca) and let us know.

Il y aura un symposium à l’université de Regina la journée précédant la conférence « Espace de Violence, Sites de Résistance : Musique, Média et Performance », le mercredi 2 juin 2010.

Les co-organisateurs, Dr. Mary Ingraham et Dr. Dylan Robinson, voudraient vous invitez a participer au symposium. Toutes les informations sont en dessous.

N’hésitez pas à contacter Mary ou Dylan si vous avez des questions, commentaires ou suggestions.

Si vous planifiez de participer a ce symposium, s’il vous plait nous contacter pour nous faire savoir (IMP.Labs (at) uregina (dot) ca)

Submission Deadline: April 30, 2010

After a successful and invigorating first meeting of the Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Music in Canada working group in August 2009 at the University of Toronto, we are pleased to announce a second meeting on June 2 in Regina in conjunction with CUMS, IASPM Canada, and the CSTM. We welcome new members to this working group from all of the associations that will meet in Regina, as well as from scholars whose work addresses music in Canada from interdisciplinary perspectives.

Our meeting in Regina will focus on the Historiography of Music in Canada. As part of this meeting we will again welcome participants working in all genres of music and sound practices in Canada. This meeting will provide an opportunity for us to re-examine how ‘Canadian Music’ and Music in Canada have been alternately mythologized and narrated, as well as the ways in which we might further develop our writing on such musical practices. For this meeting we will adopt a format that allows for a 2-hour discussion of reading(s) on Historiography (TBA) that we will apply to the study of music in Canada. We welcome participants’ suggestions for reading(s). The morning session will be followed by two plenaries, each including two 30-minute presentations. Each presentation will be followed by a 10-minute respondent, and a 30-minute discussion of the presentation.

Please send your proposals for plenary papers, expressions of interest for acting as a respondent, and general expressions of interest in participating in this working group to both Mary Ingraham (mary.ingraham@ualberta.ca) and Dylan Robinson (dylan.robinson (at) utoronto (dot) ca) by April 30, 2010.

The following provides a list of questions of potential interest to participants of this upcoming working group meeting in Regina. Many of these questions have been drawn from our initial discussions on Historiography and Epistemology during the 2009 meeting in Toronto. We are interested both to build upon these ideas, and to explore a wider range of perspectives not included in the list below.

  • Canadian music history has traditionally been written in relation to the unifying thematic narratives of the Canadian landscape, as well as through concepts of diversity and multiculturalism. To what degree are these unifying narratives still of use? Does their unity ultimately misrepresent musical practices across Canada? Do such narratives act as nation-building structures in themselves, and if so, how might we interrogate the nation-building processes such historicization represents?
  • How do we bring other voices into the types of stories we tell about Canadian music? What modes of writing offer space for such voices to participate without subjugating them?
  • To what extent does our writing intervene in the way knowledge is constructed in the multiple fields and publics in which it participates? How might we further explore models of ‘applied musicology’ or entertain more activist modes of engagement between the writing we do and those audience members and musicians who are present in the music practices we write about and the readers to whom we are directing our writing?
  • What more synchronous modes of discourse between writing voice and subject matter might be of use in writing the histories of Canadian music?
  • Who are the agents of history and should we care about how they relate to music. What images might we define that allow us to rethink the relationships of past, present, and future? What new shapes of history might better reflect the musical communities and practices in Canada that we study?
  • How in general might we take greater risks in our writing? How might we better engage our audience through a more creative association with the particular musics we write about?
  • There has been a striking reluctance to be critical of musical practices in Canada, as scholars on Canadian music have felt the need first to advocate for the value of the music under examination. It has been noted that “musicologists, more often perhaps than social scientists or even literary critics, have sometimes played the role of publicity officer for specific composers, musical traditions, or regions.” (Diamond) How might we expand our writing toward productive critique of Canadian musical practices?
  • How might we explore the further reaches of the ways in which the musics of Canada affect us in both affirmative and critical aspects? Should we, as suggested by Ellie Hisama, cultivate a “musicology of the repulsive,” that is, a musicology that expresses our concerns regarding “music that we don’t care for [and] of music that we find dull, inept, or downright repulsive, [or] of music that we understand to negate, devalue, and disrespect who we are … ”. How might we develop alternative modes for discussing our attraction to particular works and practices as advocated by Suzanne Cusick and Marion Guck? (to name only two). How might we approach these while avoiding the pitfalls of becoming arbitrators of musical taste?
  • How, in our writing, do we situate ourselves when telling of the embodied listening practices we engage in as members (or observers) of musical communities in Canada?