Diaspora Sounds: Innovation and Creativity in Music Learning and Performance

Symposium at Goldsmiths, University of London, 1 June 2018.

This one-day symposium will bring together academics and musicians to discuss innovation and creativity in diasporic music learning and performance. Cutting across disciplinary boundaries and across sectors, Diaspora Sounds will address current musical practices in diasporic communities in the UK, with a focus on Asian diasporas. What issues are being experienced and expressed through experimental musical projects? How is diasporic learning and performance impacted by austerity and the reinforcement of national borders? The symposium will provide an opportunity for engagement and dialogue between academics and musicians involved in teaching and performance to develop new perspectives.

This symposium aims to explore emerging musical styles by new generations of musicians from different backgrounds in the UK. Building on the important scholarly work that focused on the Asian Underground and Bhangra between the 1980s and 2000s, we will explore innovative learning methods and creative projects reflecting changes in migration and resettlement patterns, musical taste, technology, representation and expression. From the development of transnational online concert platforms to the expression of current diasporic experiences through the combination of Asian popular and classical music, Euro-American popular styles and UK Grime in new music productions, we will explore community-based, state-funded and music industry practices.

We invite academics, musicians, teachers, and arts organisations to discuss innovation and creativity in diasporic music-making in the context of austerity, Brexit and threats to arts funding. The event will incorporate academic papers, talks by practitioners, performances and films. Supported by the Institute of Musical Research (IMR), the event will be hosted by the Asian Music Unit (AsMU) at Goldsmiths, University of London. Although there will be a focus on music in Asian diasporas, papers and discussions will not be limited to this area. This is an interdisciplinary event and we particularly encourage PhD students and early career researchers from a variety of backgrounds to enter discussions with musicians and arts organisations.

Themes for academic papers, talks, performance-based presentations and films include:

  • the use of digital technology and digital media
  • religion, music and innovation
  • emerging styles and genres
  • funding for creative projects
  • innovation in education and pedagogic methods
  • class and/or gender
  • advocacy, activism and representation
  • transnational connections

Potential contributors are invited to submit abstracts of up to 300 words to Jasmine Hornabrook (jasmine.hornabrook@gmail.com). The deadline for submissions is 15th January 2018 and contributors will be notified of their participation by 5th February 2018.

The symposium is free to attend. There are a limited number of travel bursaries of up to £50 for PhD students and early career researchers travelling from outside London. If you would like to be considered for a travel bursary, please make this clear when submitting your abstract.