Bridge Over Troubled Waters: Challenging Orthodoxies
17th Biennial IASPM Conference
24-28 June 2013, Oviedo, Spain
Please put in your diaries the dates 24-28 June 2013 to go to Oviedo, Spain for the IASPM biennial conference. The CFP will be posted soon. For now, here’s the conference abstract:
Both popular music and the studies in this field have been spaces of tension, but also of encounter, dialogue and exchange. The triple metaphor of water (flow and travel), trouble (stress, power struggle), and bridge (meetings, communication) represent well some of the themes that might be fertile ground for an IASPM conference. Popular music genres are constructed through contact between different cultures, traditions and imaginaries, proposing a dialogue between modernity and tradition, between the new and the inherited, between local and cosmopolitan experiences. Popular music studies, since its beginning, has been marked by its interdisciplinary nature, being a meeting place not only between different academic disciplines, but also open to the experiences of musicians, cultural managers, journalists, filmmakers and industry players. The music industry has been a space of crises and reinvention, of business and the pervasive everyday use of music. On one side intellectual property laws are making it difficult to create remixes or mash-ups, censorship is always floating around music, and on the other sound defines identities and there is nothing more uncomfortable than to hear sounds you don’t like.
One of the aims of IASPM is to find ways of learning to deal with difference in our multicultural societies. Music travels with people and crosses not only rivers, but also oceans. Several music genres were born from musical encounters in port cities, although coastal towns are not the only urban spaces where popular music is made. Because of the clash of different types of people related to musical practices in urban spaces, some musics might have more prestige than others, not because of the sound itself, but because of who is playing or singing, and especially who is using it. Nevertheless, it is in sound that all the “troubles” resonate, echo and get transformed, be it by appropriation, sampling, variation, transformation, cross-overs, etc. Finally, popular music has been the space for the challenge not only of generations, but also of established social structures, be it in the entertainment business (the tension of music “of” the people and music “for” the people is always present), or in the academy. This IASPM conference proposes to reflect on the power of popular music to challenge orthodoxies, and build bridges between different experiences, perspectives and disciplines.