LED Contributor Newsletter

July 2016

LED Contributor Newsletter July 2016

LED phase 2
It’s a while since we’ve sent a newsletter round, but for those of you who don’t already know, we’re delighted to say that we did indeed get a second grant (for a period of a further three years), and work has now started on the second phase of LED.

The new project takes a more specific historical and cultural focus: its title is ‘Listening and British cultures: listeners’ responses to music in Britain, c. 1700-2018’. However, LED itself is still open to listening experiences from any period, culture, musical genre or country, so please don’t feel that you have to limit your contributions to the scope of the new project. That said, we are also keen to be pointed in the direction of sources and collections that may be particularly relevant to our British focus.

A number of the old project team are have continued on to the new project, and David Rowland continues to lead it. However, the team has had a few personnel changes – in particular, welcome to Dr Martin Clarke and Dr Elaine Moohan of the OU Music Department, Carlo Allocca of KMi, and Lorna Hughes, Professor in Digital Humanities at the University of Glasgow. For LED, Martin is researching music in Christian worship, and Elaine’s topic is traditional and art music in Scotland. Other topics cover listening and Welsh identities (Helen Barlow), the experience of listening to bands and singers in Ireland and the Irish diaspora in Britain (Trevor Herbert), and the influence of the London music business on other parts of Britain (David Rowland). Simon Brown is looking at social media as a source for listening experiences, and with Lorna and our KMi colleagues, will be investigating ways of mining large datasets including social media archives.

Our former colleagues from the first project will continue their association with LED through our Honorary Associate scheme – about which, more below.

Conference proceedings
We have been busy over the last couple of months with the preparation of the proceedings of last year’s conference ‘Listening to music: people, practices and experiences’. KMi has developed an interactive online platform for it, and we are aiming for publication in this freely accessible online format by the end of the year.

A second conference is planned for 2017, and we’ll be in touch about this before very long.

Technical update
As mentioned in the previous newsletter, our technical colleagues in KMi have implemented a change to the way the browse tables are viewed; this is now managed on the LED server, as opposed to the client PC. The intention is that this will standardise performance of the database across everyone’s machines. There is also an additional ‘location’ facility that will enable users to browse listening experiences via an interactive map. The map uses the modern geopolitical layout, but historical locations (e.g. Prussia or Constantinople) are still shown in the table and, in most cases, are plotted on the map as well. This was the final update for the last period of funding, but further enhancements are in the pipeline so do keep your suggestions for updates coming. As users of the database, your feedback is invaluable to us!

We now have around 9,500 submissions, more than 7,000 of which have been checked and uploaded to the database, with just over 2,000 awaiting approval. Our aim is for the database to continue to grow as fast as possible, so please don’t stop adding entries whenever you come across anything relevant.

Publicity, networking and outputs
In January, David, Helen, Simon and Kerri-Anne presented a roundtable session about LED, chaired by Trevor, at the ‘Hidden Musicians Revisited’ conference organised by the OU Music Department.

In April, Helen and Simon attended a seminar on ‘Musical Scholarship and the Future of Academic Publishing’, held at Goldsmiths and organized by the Academic Book of the Future project and the Transforming Musicology project.

In June, Simon helped spread the word about the project at an OU alumni event held at the OU in Milton Keynes.

In July, Helen presented a paper on ‘Welsh airs and triple harps: the musical life of a Celtic Renaissance circle’ at the International Conference on Welsh Studies 2016 (NAASWCH) at Harvard University.

LED Honorary Associates
Our ‘Honorary Associates’ scheme has been devised to help us develop a network of scholars who share our interest in the history of listening to music, and to provide a way in which we can acknowledge the support and expertise of our contributors. We envisage that this might include, for example, members of current and past LED Project Teams, delegates at our conferences, symposia and seminars, and contributors to the database. Further details, including how to apply, are available on our network website here: https://www.listeningexperience.org/about-us/led-honorary-associates-scheme/

Helen and Simon

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