City of Sound is about cities, design, architecture, music, media, politics and more. Written by Dan Hill since 2001.

Following on from my previous post on Metropolis Shanghai and Chavez Ravine, I thought I’d post a few more recent examples of music about a specific time and place, released or re-released in the last year.

Incidentally, BLDGBLOG had a recent excellent entry on Stephen Vitellio and Mark Bain – two sound artists working in and around the World Trade Center, before and after. In the (good) comments on that post, I mentioned a related old favourite, which I include here as a bonus even though not from last year – Francisco Lopez’s Buildings (New York), which is the sound of, well, buildings in New York.

On related matters, I’m doing a ‘remix’ of my New Musical Experiences talk in Manchester on Thursday night (18:00, February 2nd 2006), at Manchester Metropolitan University, invited by MIPC. I’m doing essentially the same talk as in Helsinki, but attempting to fold in some issues to do with the relationship between specific music scenes and cities, possibly contrasting some of the potential of forthcoming location-based services with the disappearance of visual and contextual information NME suggests. I wish I had a little more depth to offer, given that they’re public sociology seminars as part of a series called ‘Local Cultures in Global Space’ – perhaps I’ll point at wiser things like Anne Galloway’s forthcoming talk on spatial annotation and everyday urban life if the theory gets heavy – but I hope people will be able to grasp the ideas in the talk and extend them. It’ll be interesting to see how the relationship between cities and music shifts as context itself drifts away from primary music experience. If you’re in Manchester, do drop by and say hello.

As we’re mentioning MIPC and music, I should also mention their call for papers for a forthcoming international conference they’re hosting. Called Manchester: Music and Place, it’s happening at Manchester Metropolitan University, 8th-10th June, 2006. The thesis goes like this:

“The connections between musicians and the place in which their work begins has always been stressed – by the musicians themselves, by members of the ‘local scene’, by city marketers, by cultural historians, by ‘local music industry’ policy makers, and often by the people who live and play in the city. This conference attempts to explore the connections between music and place from these different perspectives. We want to use Manchester as a thematic case study for these questions, and it will form a constant reference point during the conference. But the conference will not be restricted to Manchester – other examples will be sought as well as more general papers on the relation of music and place.”

More details at the MIPC site. (Apparently the call for papers is still open, despite what it says there.)

Manchester Music and Place


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