Sound Methods for a New World

Strathcona Building G18 (Lecture Theatre 1)
Thursday 11 April (10:00) - Friday 12 April 2024 (19:00)
A room with chairs and clocks

A Symposium on Collaborative and Co-Creative Methods for Music Research


  • Registration required
  • Events will run 10:00 - 17:00 both days
  • Postgraduate Students (PGT/PGR) and Early Career Researchers especially welcome!
  • Lunch and refreshments provided (with registration)
  • Workshops on collaborative / co-creative research methods
  • Presentations and discussions with expert researchers

Event programme (pdf)

Keynote speakers

Shzr Ee TanShzr Ee Tan, Royal Holloway, University of London

In collaboration with Nengsih Suprihatin and Bhing Navato

Stumbling our way through sounded and performed collaborations in the community

This workshop looks at learnings and failures in ongoing work around performance and sound-based collaborations in different communities within and beyond the UK, where playing fields may be grossly uneven, or uncalibrated. Particularly, case studies will be made of three ongoing research-as-impact projects among Migrant Workers in Precarious Labour in Southeast Asia, Radical Aunties in the UK, and East Asian Voices in Global Music Stories more internationally. How do we establish networks and meet one another beyond transactional or extractivist contexts? How do we deal with unequal hierarchies of economic and cultural capital which we can only change in a limited way, in everyday work/play-together contexts? What if we all want different things out of the same engagement? And how do we deal with initiation and sustainability fatigue? In trying to answer some of these questions, I bring in considerations of the special challenges and affordances provided by sounded and performed activities. I will not prescribe a ‘method’ per se, but rather share experiences and learnings on what seemed to work, what did not work, and – drawing hopefully from audience participation - what could be done better in our shared future(s).

Full abstract, bio, and links (PDF, 79 kb)

Tom WesternTom Western, University College London

Doing Sonic Geopoetics – On Counterpoint and Collaboration, Wavelengths and New Worlds

This talk offers some ideas on doing sonic geopoetics – or the practice of making new geographies in sound. At a time when (to borrow a line from Gramsci) the old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born, the talk seeks sound methods that can be channelled into these transformations. It centres on, and extends out of, a radio experiment produced collaboratively in Athens in 2023. Titled “Mediterradio”, this soundwork was made out of recordings from Alexandria, Nablus, Damascus, and Athens, and was conceived as a sound-cycle, an intercity symphony, a feedback loop, a fugue. The piece hears the Mediterranean sea as a radio, a space of counterpoint and circulation, where song and sound constitute a set of relations, building geographies that point beyond the colonialities and the bordering of the sea and the cities that surround it.

Expanding from this project, the talk gathers sonic-spatial imaginations that build co-creative futures: the harmolodics of Ornette Coleman’s records; the planetary sonorities of protest marches; the counterpoint writing of Edward Said; the turbulence and pulse of Asher Gamedze’s drumming; the worldly listening practices of Lynnée Denise, Jessica Ekomane and Urok Shirhan. And from this, I’ll sketch some methods through which collective efforts to use sound as a form of spatial resistance come into earshot – things that make new geographies and new worlds possible.

Full abstract, bio, and links (PDF, 58 kb)