“Playing Along”: Music, Participation, and Everyday Life
Richard has enjoyed many successes as an actor, musician, writer, and composer, in a 50-year career, but is best known for composing and writing the acclaimed The Rocky Horror Show, which remains a favourite in theatres over 40 years after its release. Richard currently resides in New Zealand, and remains actively involved in the Waikato musical theatre scene, where he is patron of the Hamilton Operatic Society.
Music exists in all aspects of our lives. It provides us with company; it is a part of rituals and celebrations; it creates dialogues with visual images through films and games; indeed, other media turn to music to stimulate sensations, affects, even tastes and smells. People participate in music, they play along, they accompany, they are accompanied, and thereby they may gain skills, knowledge, pleasure, companionship and so on. Music provides the means for performing and creating identities, which could relate to gender, culture or other identifiers. And through playing along, when we respond to rhythms and sounds with gestures, we might say we are also creating the music itself.
“Playing along” also invokes a certain ambivalence, a suggestion of dissimulation with ideological implications—who gets to play? What enables some, and not others, to join the game? What are the rules? We might also consider the notion of performers “playing along”, and thus issues relating to sharing or “stealing” music, copyright, streaming, versioning, covering, plagiarizing, and arranging. Finally, we may ask whether to “play along” today is the same as five, ten, or 50 years ago? How have technology and the changing world shaped what it means to participate in musical activities? Perhaps what is most at stake here is music’s ambiguous ontological status—is the sweetest music that which is just beyond the horizon of audition? Can we gesture it into existence?
We are seeking papers and panel proposals that speak to the following areas:
- “Sing as one”: vernacular performance and everyday “musicking”
- “In the Mix”: music in dialogue with other media (film, TV, games, etc.)
- “You’ve Got a Friend”: music as a resource for identity and belonging
- “The sound of home or exile”: music, place, and time
- “Music Box”: music and its material cultures
- “Playing it Strange”: accompaniment, covers, and arrangement
- “Great Pretenders”: music and dissimulation, masking, and power
- “Let the music play”: music and audiences, dance music
- “Are Friends Electric?”: music, technology, performance/reproduction, music online.
- “Damn It, Janet!”: performing gendered identities in music.
Abstracts should be no more than 250 words, and should include 3-5 keywords. Please submit abstracts in doc, docx, rtf format, and send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline for abstract submission: June 1st 2018.
All participants must be members of IASPM. If you are not a member, details on how to join are available here: http://iaspm.org.au/membership/.
We encourage all members of IASPM-International to consider attending.
Best regards from the organising committee,
Dr. Matthew Bannister, Dr. Jeremy Mayall, Dr. Nick Braae; Megan Rogerson-Berry (all Wintec).