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Islands
Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Musicological Societies

Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia, 22-25 November 2007


Call for Papers

The Program Committee seeks proposals for presentations (papers, panel
discussions, lecture-demonstrations or concerts) that address one or more
of the conference strands. Please send a 200-300 word abstract and a
100-word bio to MSA NZMS 2007 Program Committee, c/o Queensland
Conservatorium Research Centre, P O Box 3428, South Brisbane, QLD, 4101,
Australia. E-mail: qcrc@griffith.edu.au. Fax: +61 7 3735 6262 (attention
Dr Bartleet).

1st deadline: 20 October 2006 
2nd deadline: 1 May 2007 

(Submissions for the 1st deadline will be notified of the outcome by 1
December 2006. Submissions for the 2nd deadline will be notified of the
outcome by 1 July 2007).

About the conference

Much music research in the Asia-Pacific region focuses on actual islands -
from ethnomusicological studies of localised cultures in literal danger of
being submerged in a rising ocean, to studies of developments in
composition in the European-based art music of major land areas such as
Australia and New Zealand. But Islands can also be interpreted in a more
metaphorical way. For instance, musical subcultures can be viewed as
solitary islands, or as points of connection with their surrounding
cultural landscapes or seascapes. The individual research traditions and
musicians that inhabit and investigate these metaphorical islands also
travel between states of isolation and population in their musical
voyages. In the spirit of John Donne's reverberant phrase "no man is an
island," the theme also invites reflection on connections and
disconnections from time to time, culture to culture, island to island,
person to person, and between musicians and audiences. Under this
overarching theme, the conference will feature the following strands:

1.      Australia and New Zealand: Islands apart?
In spite of obvious correspondences in culture and geographical location,
musical contact and exchange between Australia and New Zealand is limited.  
Instead of gazing across the Tasman, performers, composers and researchers
seem to be looking more to Europe and the United States for inspiration
and collaboration. This strand seeks to unearth the nature of the musical
relationship between these large landmasses, and possibly discover ways
forward in bridging this remarkable divide.

2.      Torres Strait Islander and Pacific Islands music
The Torres Strait Islands are a cluster of islands bridging Cape York to
Papua New Guinea. Explorers, marine traders, missionaries and other
travellers have traversed these waters for hundreds of years. Despite
this, and with a few notable exceptions (e.g. Beckett, Haddon, Hayward,
Neuenfeldt, Sharp, Shnukal), Torres Strait Islander peoples, musics and
cultures remain virtually invisible on the academic and musicological
landscape. As Torres Strait Islander performer Christine Anu notes, "The
whole culture of the Torres Strait Islands is based around music and
storytelling. Ceremonies, weddings, funerals, births. . . [are] all
brought in with singing" ("Australia Warts 'n' All", SBS, 2000). In this
strand, we aim to open up a two-way conversation between researchers and
musicians about the centrality of performance to Island life, experiences
and culture, and its resonances across the water.

3.      Gender and Sexuality
Queer musicology has always had a strong connection to feminist
musicology. Although many musicologists feel there is a compelling
relationship between the two marginalised disciplines, others feel that
the two, however they are defined, are distinct - each having their own
theories, politics and constituencies. This strand will explore the
current relationship between these two somewhat "isolated islands" and
mainstream music studies, in light of recent debates not only in
musicology, but also within the broader context of critical and cultural
studies.

4.      Institutions and society 
Music practice, education and research rely heavily on institutions:  
concert halls, opera companies, orchestras, conservatoires, universities,
music departments, and archives. What is the nature of these islands and
their inhabitants in an increasingly dynamic environment? Are they points
of rest and artistic delight in the mad, rushing sea of contemporary life,
or anachronistic places of isolation?

5.      Popular music and ethics
The idea of "being ethical" is central to recent discourse in popular
music. This is exemplified in the belief that certain types of musical
appropriation are unethical, or that music copying deprives artists of
income. In contrast, the spread of file sharing and MP3s imposes questions
about the ethics of copyright law, including arguments in support of the
consumer's right to fair use. In light of the polarisation between these
"ethical islands," this strand seeks to explore how contemporary societies
evaluate their musical practices on ethical terms.
 
6.      Performance practice
With the study and practice of music largely separated since the
nineteenth century, the relation of research to performance has been
somewhat strained at times. This strand will seek to establish where we
are in relation to research into performance, research in performance, and
performance as research.

7.      History and analysis
Free papers are invited within the broad fields encompassed by historical
and analytical musicology. Papers relating to the conference theme are
particularly welcome. By way of examples, such topics could address the
relationships between English music and continental practices, musical
traditions maintained (deliberately or otherwise) in regional centres, or
historiographical notions of composers as islands of greatness in the seas
of lesser masters.

Special event
A half-day strand devoted to recent studies of Queensland's rich musical
history will include parlour songs, western art music, pop and world
music.

For more information regarding the Conference contact: 
Dr Brydie-Leigh Bartleet 
Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre
P O Box 3428, South Brisbane, QLD, 4101, Australia 
Email: qcrc@griffith.edu.au
Tel.: + 61 7 3735 6335

To register go to msa.org.au/qld/

About Brisbane and the conference venue

The Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Musicological Societies
will take place at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University,
located within the South Bank parklands. This is the cultural precinct of
Brisbane, situated just across the river from the city centre. The
Parklands feature seventeen hectares of lush gardens and lawns, the
Streets Beach, the magnificent Arbour and promenade, and Little Stanley
Street, a bustling strip of cafes, restaurants, bars and boutique retail
outlets. South Bank is well known for its relaxed atmosphere and offers
delegates the opportunity to swim, walk, ride, eat or see a show after a
day of conference activities.

The proposed conference dinner will follow the Island theme with a banquet
on "The Island Party Boat" Dinner Cruise. This dinner will offer delegates
a unique dining experience that features spectacular views of the Brisbane
River.

Brisbane is also the perfect hub for exploring the sunny Southeast of the
state, should delegates decide to extend their conference stay. Moreton
Bay beckons with its expansive waterways and myriad of islands, as do the
white sand and surf beaches of the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, with the
Great Barrier Reef just beyond.

The 2007 Combined Australian and New Zealand Musicological Conference is
proudly supported by the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University,
the Musicological Society of Australia Queensland Chapter, and the New
Zealand Musicological Society.
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