Europopmusic

Project members and subscribers to this site will be interested in Europopmusic, an organisation whose newsletter is reproduced below.

The newsletter makes mention of the POPID conference held in Rotterdam earlier this month at which project members Jez Collins and Emilia Barna presented research papers.

Europopmusic’s originators outline their background as follows:

We are DOUBLE BASS (1969) and PAUL ROYAL (1971) and we live in the Netherlands. We’ve been buying and collecting music since the eighties. One strictly on vinyl, the other strictly on compact disc. Starting as most music lovers with radio and the anglo-saxon music, we gradually became aware of the music that could not be heard on Dutch radio but was popular in other countries.

Influencial for this was early MTV (shows like ‘120 minutes’ always had a keen eye for international underground acts), the Europarade and of course the Eurovision song contest. On our visits to other European countries we started to collect pop music that was typical for that country or region. Mind you, we wanted pop and rock, not folk. Or not esspecially because we do like the hybrid forms.

In doing so we not only moved away from the common ground of regular collectors but also from the genre shops file under ‘world music’ and collectors that focussed on the sixties (when italian and french music was popular and still is highly collectable). We realised we were operating in a niche; each time when we visited the European music fair in Utrecht, we had to weed through truckloads of Deep Purple and Pink Floyd in order to find the gems we seek.

This left us in a sort of twilight zone where we discovered artists, music scenes and genres while we went along. The language barrier and different musical traditions make it even more difficult. Talking to shopkeepers across Europe always was a source of information although they we always suprised that we were genuinly interested in THEIR pop scene and not the international one.

Altogether we assembled a record collection that is a cross section of European pop. Maybe is not one of it’s kind, although we like to think so, but gathering from reactions of other collectors it is special in it’s own way due to the fact that all items are assembled in one collection. Instead of sitting on this treasure chest of Europop we decided to build a website filled with all the info we gathered on our trips

.

 

“Hello Europopmusic fans…”

Somehow the past month revolved around the European Union and wether or not European popmusic excists. Prior to the EBBA (European Border Breaker Awards) a documentary was shown about European popmusic with the title ‘Rockin’ Europe’. The filmcrew followed a fresh Estonian EBBA winner Ewert and the Two Dragons and interviewed EBBA patron Jools Holland and journalist Emmanuel Legrand (and our humble office gave background info but were cut from the film in the end, boohoo!). Bottom line was that European popmusic has a hard time when you’re not from the UK or you’re not singing in English. The lack of media exposure for Non-English music was deemed the biggest threshold. Another problem is the licensing At the end of January the European Commission launched a stakeholder dialogue about ‘Licenses for Europe’ urging industry to deliver innovative solutions for greater access to online content. And to overcome the problem that digital music (amongst others) can not profit from the open borders. The discussion is still going online. We wish commisioner Androulla Vassiliou much wisdom.

On a more scientific level we were asked to join a panel at the Erasmus University for the international conference of Popular Music Heritage, Cultural Memory and Cultural Identity (POPID). It was an ‘exchange session which focusses on the role of DIY (Do-it-yourself) preservationism in the construction of popular music heritage”. In plain English we were present as an example of how European culture is preserved and promoted outside the usual scientific mainframe. It was an interesting session and the three day conference held more interesting lectures and dialogues. We will try and see of we can get permission from the scientists to rewrite their abstracts and publish them on the site. There were enough interesting insights.

But enough with social-cultural/political mumbo jumbo. Back to what really European popmusic is about with reviews of great new albums, interviews with interesting people and new biographies of artists you probably have never heard of before. As always: ENJOY THE MUSIC.

DOUBLE BASS & PAUL ROYAL

Music news and background articles


Portugal in 1968, music and dissidents in exile

And we continue our search for the source of European popmusic located around the year 1968. This time Portugal. Like his neighbour Franco in Spain dictator Salazar’s regime after WW2 relied heavily on promoting certain folkloristic culture. In Portugal’s case that was the three Fs namely – Football (soccer), Fatima and fado (although some say the third F stands for fascism). It tried to sketch an image to the outside world of a peaceful country. Meanwile anyone who dared to speak up was thrown in prison or fled into exile. And so Portugues protest culture largely was made outside Portugal. The minor political change in 1968 eventually did not come from student protests, passionate music or pamphlets. Nature itself intervened with Salazar falling on his head and ending up in a catatonic state. Read more on Portugal in 1968 and how it influenced Portuguese pop culture


Etienne Daho speaks: “the older I get, the more I am amazed”
Five years after the release of “L’Invitation” which went certified platinum album and got a Victoire de la Musique 2008, Etienne Daho is currently in the studio from London to New York to record his new album. The new album, which will be co-produced with Richard Woodcraft, mixer and engineer the album “The Last Shadow Puppets” and Jean-Louis Pierot, producer albums including “Fantaisie Militaire” Alain Bashung and “lie Supplements “Hubert-Félix Thiéfaine, So Stephane Hauser picked up the phone and called singer in London for Le Catalog. Go to the interview


Francesco Bianconi (Baustelle) speaks: I began to live in a more relaxed relationship with my origins

 

A recurring theme in the discography of Baustelle  is that the experience of the province as living in a ‘cage’. Growing up in the Tuscan town of Montepulciano in the late seventies and eighties they wanted nothing more then escape. Not anymore: the new album ‘Fantasma’ marked the return of Francesco Bianconi, Rachel Bastreghi and Claudio Brasini to this native town of Siena. “Fantasma is a very hardcore Tuscany” says the singer and lyricist. He talks about the new album ‘Fantasma’ which evokes memories to the work of Charles Dickens, Dario Argento, Edgar Allen Poe and the end of time. ” Death as a central theme: “Perhaps we in the West see death more important than what he really is: if you believe in the afterlife, death is only a passage, and if you do not believe that just see it as a change in biological state. So do not fear it. Perhaps we should learn from the cultures of other parts of the world where death is considered something less traumatic.” Go to the interview


Controversial Bulgarian Chalga Company Gets Major EU Funding

Sofia’s press agency Novinite comes with news that Bulgarian record producer Payner, which is known as the largest label for the so called popfolk or chalga music, has secured major funding under EU Operational Program Competitiveness, according to a report. Payner’s EU funds boost, whose payments are yet to made, was reported Tuesday by the Bulgarian daily Presa (“Press”). Payner is largely controversial precisely because of the nature of the so called chalga music – a notorious style that emerged in Bulgaria in the 1990s with oriental motifs focusing on money and sexual allusions. Payner’s total approved funding will be BGN 3.197 M, including a grant of almost BGN 2 M from the EU. Read more

Reviews


Tre allegri ragazzi morti:
Nel giardino dei fantasmi
♪♪♪
Mor ve Ötesi:
Güneşi Beklerken
♪♪♪♪
Hande Yener:
Kralice
♪♪½
Gianna Nannini:
Inno
♪♪♪♪
Tocotronic:
Wie wir leben wollen
♪♪♪♪♪
Severina:
Dobrodošao u klub
♪♪♪
Sheila:
Solide
♪♪½
‘Astro’n’out:
Lauvas
♪♪♪½
Manolis Aggelakis:
O anthropos vomva
♪♪½
Europopmusic artists (added to the encyclopedia)

Marianne Mendt (Austria)

If it wasn’t for her singing the first ever Austrian pophit her fame would probably be much less. Not that Marianne has a bad voice, her first two albums are really worth seeking out. Her musical output has been somewhat arredicate. From pop, to beat, to jazz, to schlager, to musical. Actually you could say Mendt is more an actress then a singer although her jazz festival is quite popular and she always makes an appearance there. Still, for some original light Austrian pop you cannot go around Mendt.Go to artist page

Heróis do Mar (Portugal)

It’s hard to believe for fans of Madredeus but the frontman in that band actually has a rock-past in one of Portugal’s groundbreaking new wave bands. Pedro Ayres and his friends sounded much rawer and punky in those days. For Portuguese their 1981 debut is the pinnacle of social youth culture at the start of the Eighties. An album filled with anger and teenage energy. To my opinion they gradually perfected and shaped their sound on the 1986 ‘Macau’. No longer punk but poprock. From there each member went their seperate path leaving the legend-making to Portugese pop history.Go to artist page


The europopmusicnewsletter is published by DOUBLE BASS & PAUL ROYAL, the Netherlands
as part of the website WWW.EUROPOPMUSIC.EU. Contact us via e-mail: info@europopmusic.eu

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Music and Interactive Media – Examples from Groningen/Eurosonic Noorderslag

One of the reasons why the meeting at Groningen proved important in terms of the overall purposes of the project is that here, the relationship between music and new/interactive media gained more emphasis than during our previous Leonardo meetings. This is in part thanks our hosts Ard Boer and Eva van Netten and New Music Labs – a very exciting, dynamic enterprise developing interactive digital solutions for a variety of music projects, located in a pleasant office on Brugstraat whose interior attests to creativity and subcultural credibility (see photos). (As an aside: walking in Groningen, I was struck by the multiplicity of small galleries, busy workshops, (sub)cultural venues and stores, indicative of the amount of creative activity in the city.)

Eurosonic Noorderslag (as is mentioned in Ann Branch’s talk) also devoted a lot of time and space to the digital shift, framing it more in terms of opportunities and creative solutions than challenges. We heard presentations about the new, and already hugely popular French on-demand music streaming service, Deezer (also available in Hungary, as opposed to, for instance, Spotify, along with 160 countries worldwide – but not yet in the US). Another exciting service that I had not heard about previously is 22tracks – which is also streaming site, but based on selected DJs curating 22 songs according to 22 different genres, in different locations, such as London, Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels. The idea is that individual curation can act as a guide amongst the vast amount of music online. Furthermore, the individual tastes of the DJs are also supposed to represent the given city, the local character, as well as a particular genre.

Ard also introduced his own app, Giglocker:

[wpvideo JXJankXe]

 

However, the main excitement was the Interactive Awards panel and ceremony the next day, where Ard won the Artist award with his fabulous augmented reality app for the band BLØF.

Here is Ard explaining augmented reality during the interrogation phase:

[wpvideo MDF9D3Mo]

And demonstrating how it works:

[wpvideo QTQc5XDG]

Congratulations, Ard!

The Company award was won by the equally fascinating Vyclone – a social video platform that enables members of an audience (or any people gathered within the same space) to upload their iPhone/iPad video footage, which material will then be edited together automatically and the end result published on the website. The platform is based on the idea of Joe Sumner (you can read about it here), and has already been used by such artists as Madonna, Ed Sheeran, Mumford and Sons and Alice Cooper. It appears to be a wonderful way of conjoining fans and artists within the creative process, illustrating the overall trend of consumers becoming active producers through via interactive online media. It also makes use of a vast amount of fan material that exists out there anyway, and would otherwise remain marginal. Lastly, there are great possibilities in applying the editing algorithm within a variety of fields. 

The online platform of Eurosonic Noorderslag itself provided a good example of interacivity, with the possibility of personalising the programme. Also, our wristbands containted a chip that was scanned during the evening gigs when we entered and left a venue. Based on this information, the following morning we received a personalised email notification containing the list of gigs we had attended, which was indeed really handy (the idea is thus similar to Giglocker). Moreover, you were also able to scan your wristband at panels in order to get additional materials emailed to you (slides, links), where it was available.

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Ann Branch explains Creative Europe at Eurosonic Noorderslag Conference

Our visit to Groningen was interesting and informative in so many different aspects that rather than providing a single summarising account, I am opting for creating a number of posts that deal with different themes. Also, many important themes are covered in Matt Grimes’ account, so I will not repeat those points.

At the Eurosonic Noorderslag conference, I listened to Ann Branch (Head of Unit, Culture Programme and Actions, European Commission) explain the importance of the EU’s new Culture Programme for the music industries (EU Funding for the Cultural and Creative Sectors, 10 January 2013 15:00). The second half of the panel consisted of Sylvain Pasqua (Policy Officer, Culture Programme and Actions, European Commission) talking about how EU Cohesion Policy Fundscan be used for strategic cultural investment.

My summary of Ann Branch’s talk is attached – and here you find some related links:

Creative Europe http://ec.europa.eu/culture/creative-europe/

Ann Branch explaining Creative Europe http://ec.europa.eu/culture/creative-europe/video-interviews_en.htm

European Music Council http://www.emc-imc.org/

EMC Statement on the EU Commission’s Creative Europe programme proposal http://www.emc-imc.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Cultural_Policy/creative_europe/EMC_statement_Creative_Europe.pdf

European Music Office http://www.emo.org/

Report commissioned by EMO and Eurosonic Noorderslag (Music Crossing Borders. Monitoring the cross-border circulation of European repertoire within the European Union)http://dl.dropbox.com/u/59105500/new%20report.pdf

European Audiovisual Observatory http://www.obs.coe.int/

European Talent Exchange Program (ETEP) http://www.etep.nl/en/

CEETEP http://www.etep.nl/en/festivals/ceetep-festivals/

International Association of Music Information Centres http://www.iamic.net/

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Mapping Cultures

Pleased to announce the publication of this book which contains a chapter that I wrote with Jez Collins of the Birmingham Music Archive.

MAPPING CULTURES: 


Place, Practice Performance

Edited by Les Roberts, University of Liverpool
http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=507224

 ‘This collection gives a widely spread voice to the widening acknowledgement of what maps mean and do; how and where they occur. Comprising a series of related but distinctive, lively, well worked and critically engaging chapters, the book will find readers across a range of disciplines and subjects.’ David Crouch, University of Derby, UK
——
Contents
1. Mapping Cultures – a Spatial Anthropology, Les Roberts
PART I: PLACE/TEXT/TOPOGRAPHY
2. Critical Literary Cartography: Text, Maps and a Coleridge Notebook, David Cooper
3. Mapping Rohmer: Cinematic Cartography in Post-war Paris, Richard Misek
4. Cinematic Cartography: Projecting Place Through Film, Les Roberts
5. Walking, Witnessing, Mapping: An Interview with Iain Sinclair, David Cooper and Les Roberts
6. Maps, Memories and Manchester: the Cartographic Imagination of the Hidden Networks of the Hydraulic City, Martin Dodge and Chris Perkins
PART II: PERFORMANCE/MEMORY/LOCATION
7. Urban Musicscapes: Mapping Music-making in Liverpool, Sara Cohen
8. Mapping the Soundscapes of Popular Music Heritage, Paul Long and Jez Collins
9. Walking Through Time: Use of Locative Media to Explore Historical Maps, Chris Speed
10. Salford 7/ District Six. The Use of Participatory Mapping and Material Artefacts in Cultural Memory Projects, Lawrence Cassidy
PART III: PRACTICE/APPARATUS/CARTOGRAPHICS
11. ‘Spatial Stories’: Maps and the Marketing of the Urban Experience, Gary Warnaby
12. Mapping My Way: Map-making and Analysis in Participant Observation, Hazel Andrews
13. Mental Maps and Spatial Perceptions: The Fragmentation of Israel-Palestine, Efrat Ben Ze’ev
14. Peripatetic Box and Personal Mapping: From Studio to Classroom to City, Simonetta Moro
15. The Anthropology of Cartography, Denis Wood

Les Roberts is a Research Associate at the University of Liverpool. He is author of Film, Mobility and Urban Space (2012) and co-editor ofLiminal Landscapes (2012).

Contemporary Music Centre and Digital Preservation

As this is our first post on this blog, we should take this opportunity to briefly introduce ourselves.

The Contemporary Music Centre is Ireland’s national archive and resource centre for new Irish music. We’re based in Dublin and we document and promote the work of living Irish composers. We have a library and archive of works dating from the early part of the last century to the present day and run a number of events and projects aimed at promoting the work of Irish composers and raising their profile nationally and internationally.

We have always relied heavily on digital tools to help us carry out our mission and much of our work now centres around the digital. Last year, we launched the first iteration of a digital archive featuring samples of composers’ music scores and audio recordings. We are continuously thinking of innovative ways in which we can use our resources to connect with vocational education and our participation in this project is a valuable way of discovering new ideas and models of best practice in the field of music heritage.

One of our recent projects looked at the area of digital preservation and how both CMC as a memory organisation for music and individual artists might approach the task of digitally preserving their music. Given that much of the materials which we now archive are “born digital”, it is important that we look at ways in which we can properly archive these materials for future access.

Digital preservation of music is a complex issue. Many composers are now working exclusively using digital formats, and the tools they use extend way beyond the standard music score and electronic tape part for playback. Composers are using programming languages to compose real-time, interactive works; designing their own custom software instruments and pieces; and working in mixed media contexts. How these works can be digitally preserved so that they can be accessed and performed in the future is one of the big questions facing music documentation centres such as CMC. There are also a number of practical considerations which need to be addressed, such as how these digital materials should be stored and managed, and how we can make these available to our users for research and performance purposes.

You can find out more about the project here and take a look at the final set of guidelines for composers here.

“The Hidden City”: innovative media, innovative approaches to heritage.

The team at BCU have been asking their contacts across education, music industries and related businesses to write-up short blogs about issues and activities that will be of interest to the various partners on the Leonardo project as well as other interested readers.

One such organisation is 470 Media which is run by two graduates of the Birmingham School of Media Chris Williams and Steve Thornton. With experience of radio and music businesses, they work in a variety of fields that innovate around sound production and online presentation. Their work offers innovative ways of presenting information, often dealing with the kinds of heritage and educational strategies of importance to IMMHIVE.

 

They describe their company as one which produces:

intimate online content, promoted using powerful social media techniques, made successful through the greatest attention to detail.

Nominated for a Sony Radio Award in 2011 and shortlisted for Best Emerging Brand in 2012 […] Fourseventy Media believe that by providing creative marketing and media support for large organisation, as well as charities, is an important part of what defines us as a professional, community orientated, friendly company.

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This is Steve’s account of a current project.

 

The Hidden City: Telling stories in a different way.

I’ve been asked to discuss a current, local project that began last year following a failure. This can be considered as fate, an act of a higher force or just luck.

 

The project in question is The Hidden City.

 

The Hidden City came about after 470 Media co-founders, (myself) Steve Thornton and business partner Chris Williams had been beaten to the punch in attempting to create a radio documentary on Birmingham super group ELO.

 

As radio specialists, we were trying to follow up a previous Sony Radio nomination for our work on UB40’s 30th anniversary of ‘Signing Off’, but realised access to the people that would make the documentary that we desired, was out of reach and had already been completed.

 

Why we wanted to create another documentary is down to our passion for radio.

 

Our background is audio and particularly stories, telling them, discovering them and finding out what makes people and communities the way they are.

 

Getting inside a person’s life has a certain voyeurism about it and something, which we find fascinating: the human-interest stories that are told on a daily basis and shared through the varying media platforms.

This coincidence of how things unfolded that began with failure, or however you wish to see it is where The Hidden City came about.

 

What is The Hidden City?

The Hidden City reveals the Midland’s lost, forgotten or untold stories. It is a locally based project that looks at communities, individuals, history and heritage of varying subject matter. This is what is important to us and why we wanted to document stories about our city.

 

We wanted to find out- why is the city the way it is? Who are the people that influence our city: past, present or future?  How do these affect the city’s cultures?  These are the questions we ask when doing the project and collating stories to share with the wider community.

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As well as going out into the public and creating content, The Hidden City also gives the local community a voice, encouraging them to tell their stories and submit them as ideas for potential future projects. The project is therefore the city’s as much as it is ours. We want to be seen as providing a platform to use when uncovering different stories, no matter how old they may be.

 

Therefore, crowdsourcing stories opens avenues of research into our local history and heritage, but particularly from the project’s perspective, focuses on stories that others don’t tell. This, untold nature of the stories we collect, may be seen as a disadvantage or question why these stories?

 

Why do you want to uncover stories that aren’t deemed as newsworthy? Telling what others may not wish to know?

 

Media institutions tend to feed us what they think is relevant; the producers are in charge of the topic’s content and style that shape our viewing in what we see, hear and read.

 

Now we are not suggesting that we are all sheep!  We are fully aware that individuals have the intelligence to seek what he or she feels is representative of their personal interests, their tastes, in what type of media we consume.

 

Recent cuts in the media and seemingly similar stories covered in our local news, really brought the value of the project home for us and underlined why it should be created and why it is a necessity.

 

With more and more media agencies unable to report on true local stories hyperlocal bloggers have begun to fill the void. By their very nature, their audiences can be very small, but the stories they uncover can be equally, if not as important, as national headlines. Local media and consumption/creating media has dramatically changed over recent years and the growth of  ‘hyperlocal’ blogs suggest how communities reach out to one another, popping up all over the city (and in online spaces), reflecting their locations in dealing with local issues that matter to them. In theory this provide a communities very own news outlet that’s focused and relevant to its members.  A lot of this information is however written and used as blog entries, something we realise was hugely important, but at the same time, we wanted to offer something different in how we would document stories.

 

We just wanted to tell stories that we thought Birmingham deserved to know about, the real stories of human interest, character and discovery and from the real people of the city.

 

We believe it is important to bring to light the people who have, or continue to make a difference in our city. The events that have changed the way we look at our community. The stories that we believe should not be lost to time. No matter how difficult, or challenging those stories might be to tell.

 

How we do this is through the ‘photofilm’.

 

What is the photofilm? In its simplest term, a photofilm is an audio documentary with pictures. Other media institutions (BBC, Guardian, FT), use these, to engage with their audience and for us it seemed the best way to tell a story and also to gain the attention of our potential public – as contributors and consumers.

 

Using the photofilm also separates the project’s media form from what we consider regular news/story telling that we tend to digest in the form of a newspaper, recorded footage, and audio only.  The photofilm requires a different level of engagement through its make up of still imagery and listening to the narration/commentary (audio) as the imagery unfolds. This medium is known, as a hybrid of traditional ‘sit forward’ media (e.g. watching TV) and ‘sit back’ media (reading a paper). The photofilm’s middle ground requires attention from the eye and the ear and opens up and asks questions of the viewer.

 

Our intention when creating this type of media is to ensure that the viewer always goes away with questions or memoires of a shot, a particular comment or both from a photofilm on a subject or person.

(Here’s the UB40 slideshow we did on The Hidden City site)

Where are these stories?

Each story is pinpointed to a location on an online map that highlights a database of stories, past or present, that are hidden away within our community – these can be related to Music, Arts, Culture, Science… anything.

 

Using an online map to locate each story, The Hidden City hopes to become a populated media project that works on two levels- our production level and personal contributions, but as a portal of community and freelance ownership through submissions.

 

The more stories we can locate and pin onto the map, the more areas we can populate, the more we get to know about our city and its make up of different communities.

 

Our project is growing and our intentions are changing from our original vision.

 

Our next aim is to develop the key relations between existing hyper-local bloggers in how we document stories, using these skilled and knowledgeable individuals/groups and taking their expertise in order to grow the project into their existing channels of communication. We would also like to teach these people and the wider community how to make photofilms so we can then use these stories for archiving and showing Birmingham in a different light for future reference.

 

We also hope to use mobile technology to geo-locate areas of Birmingham that then opens up the project to the public to view stories anywhere they are, not reliant on being in front of a computer screen. We want people to be able to stand at a place, enter their location and watch stories around them when they want, teaching them about the city, its areas and uncovering the heritage and history that may have been forgotten.

 

A typical Hidden City story is Tiny Dancers based on an OAP Irish line Dancing group with audio production by Aaron Howes and photography by Chris Jones and Dan Johnson.

Birmingham has a strong Irish community which forms the heart of its Irish Quarter. Join us at the ‘Irish In Birmingham Activity Centre’ as we grab an insight into how one group of the Birmingham-based Irish community have been working hard towards the upcoming St Patrick’s parade. Following after New York and Dublin, Birmingham’s St Patrick’s Parade is widely accepted as one of the world’s largest, with over eighty-thousand visitors each March. So let’s see how one group of ‘Yeehaa Grandmas’ plan to cause a stir and celebrate with a show like no other.

 From a project that started from failure, to a project that hopes to offer Birmingham and the West Midlands a new way of viewing and mapping their city through the eyes of the people that make it, what it is.  This is The Hidden City.

 

Documenting the sounds of Berlin.

Laura Dawson is a graduate of the Birmingham School of Media who specialises in radio (that’s a word which encompasses everything from old-fashioned broadcasting ‘over the air’ to podcasting and sound sculptures nowadays). Laura is also a big fan of house music and a skilled documentarist.

Like the best artists and thinkers, she decided to bring together her enthusiasm, skill and knowledge and has produced a range of work that deserves to be heard by IMMHIVE project partners as well as a wider audience.

Laura set herself a task for her final year project of visiting Berlin and ‘investigating’ its most famous dance clubs. The portrait that she paints is a real labour of love and truly engaging.

For those of us involved in this project, it offers a perspective on the importance of music culture and economy to the identity of a city like Berlin – for natives and visitors both.

As an innovative piece of sound work, it indicates how we might capture these insights as well as communicating with a wide set of stakeholders about the value of music and ways of making sense of it.

Laura’s adventures in Berlin are captured in a post for Igloo magazine and samples of her sound productions can be heard on her Mixcloud page.

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THE QUEST FOR PAID WORK: (MAKING A) LIVING ON THE EDGE – ANDREA GOETZKE

I’ve been doing a series of “interviews” about how people are “Making A Living On The Edge” for the Edgeryders project of the Council of Europe and thought this one with our fellow IMMHVE participant Andrea would be worth cross-posting here:

Andrea Goetzke and myself are both participating in the Innovative Media and Music Heritage Impacting Vocational Education project to which she has brought a wealth of experience. In this video and “interview” Andrea gets down to the nitty gritty of making a living in the “creative industries” through explaining her own experiences and strategies.

Andrea is part of a for-profit company in Berlin called newthinking which works in the field of digital culture and society, doing web development and organising events like the big social media conference re:publica amongst other things. She now works part time for newthinking so that she can do other things as well – she is on the board of an association called all2gethernow, an event series for new strategies in the music business and music culture which aims to put the idea of music as culture back into the discourse. all2gethernow operates sometimes on a paid basis when there are projects such as one in association with the city of Berlin in September as part of Berlin Music Week, which will be a day of workshops for musicians. She also does things without any renumeration like her monthly radio show, organising a music festival which pays for itself but not for staff, as well as organising occasional concerts which pay something but don’t financially compensate for the time invested.

Andrea is trying to find a balance between doing things she finds interesting and making money. She says that it’s not an easy balance, but she feels lucky as she has had the opportunity to make money with her previous job, and she still has some money left which enables her to subsidise the activities that she’s interested in. This has done this on purpose by working longer on the recent job to buy time later to do things and be a bit more experimental, which is something she thinks is common amongst people who want to make things happen – “the idea of making money in one field to spend in another is one way to do it, because if you try to make money with everything you do, you are very dependent.” If you want to be free in what you do, you have to make the money elsewhere, she adds. She tries never to sell herself for something she finds completely useless, but has taken on less interesting projects as they have allowed her to do something else.

She is also a co-owner of newthinking and the company takes a similar approach too. In the past they have taken on things which were no so profitable but had a high content value, but it’s only possible if other projects bring the cash in, so staff and everything can be paid for. Her lifestyle is based on low expense which means this strategy can work, but Andrea is aware that this is possible because she doesn’t have a family.

“Making enough time”

Sometimes it is better to invest a little in a project yourself than to look for funding, she says, as sometimes more time is spent trying to fund raise than on the project itself. From the experience of all2gethernow she has seen that it is very difficult to build something from a cultural, political interest and it make it financially sustainable. Consequently it is very ad-hoc, bringing people in to work on projects once they have been approved financially, because they have not been able to sustain a permanent structure. They would have to start a service, like consulting, to be able to do so.

Andrea reiterates that she is not interested in making lots of money, that she wants to “make enough time” to do the things she’s interested in, and create a sustainable life. She considers herself to be in a privileged position as she can think about and do things she cares about and knows there are many people who don’t know how to do it, or can’t do it because they have a lot of children and despite working hard, still don’t earn enough money to make ends meet. Her way of living is more important to her than having a lot of money or the amount of goods she can buy.

Many needs and desires have been created artificially in society, she feels, meaning that people think they need to have a car, lots of electronic equipment, have expensive holidays – but they are things which can be solved in a way which involves far less money, people could live with less money if things were better organised.

Andrea sees that there is a lot of money in certain areas and much less in others and oftentimes, thinking of the processes gentrification and city development, creatives and people who do things are being used and are necessary for others to make lots of money. There is a question of whether money is really being distributed fairly and how can the system be structured so there is a much more equal distribution. Concepts like a basic income or regulation of the amount a company or person can accumulate need investigating, and although this is theoretically done through the tax system we probably need more systemic changes, she concludes.

Multiple Voices, Multiple Memories

As my practice based work with the Birmingham Music Archive that I originated (http://birminghammusicarchive.com) developed, I began to think more about what it was/is I am doing. Where did the Archive fit within other archival work? What does the Archive say about my history and that of all the people who contribute to the archive? And what does the Archive and my practice say about Birmingham and its musical heritage?

I was encouraged to return to academia to study such questions and this has resulted in me completing a Masters Award in Creative Industries and Cultural Policy.

My thesis has the rather snappy title of Multiple Voices, Multiple Memories: Public-history making and activist archivismin online popular music archives but explores the recent phenomenon of online music archives. Whilst this study concentrates on archives pertaining to Birmingham, it is evident that there are lots of similar archives appearing from all manner of towns and cities across the world. With the continuing access to digital platforms, music heritage is becoming a more common theme for music activist archivists who wish to celebrate the music that falls outside of the mainstream or indeed the music activities that add to a place’s sense of cultural activity; the venues, record shops, managers and so on.

I hope this work will inform this Leonardo project and be of interest to those, like me, who wish to explore the role that popular music has played in specific places and in the preservation and celebration of all forms of popuar music activity.

Multiple voices, multiple memories 03-03-2012