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BCMCR Popular Music Studies Research Seminars

March 24, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

BCMCR Research Seminar – Popular Music Research: Launch of The Canterbury Sound in Popular Music, edited by Asya Draganova (BCU), Shane Blackman (Canterbury Christ Church University) and Andy Bennett (Griffith University)
1600-1730 Wednesday 24 March
Online event: Please register on Eventbrite at this link; the online meeting link will be emailed out to those who sign up.

We invite you to the book launch of The Canterbury Sound in Popular Music: Scene, Identity and Myth.

This collection published in February 2021 is a unique exploration of the heritage and legacy of the Canterbury Sound: a signature style emerging in the 1960s that draws upon psychedelic music, progressive rock, jazz and pop to capture the real and imagined interactions between people, place and music.

The volume recounts the stories, and explores the significance, of the Canterbury Sound as heritage, ongoing legacy and scene. Originating from the experiences and ethnographic research of the three editors, all of whom have lived and worked in Canterbury, the book brings together reflections, stories, and critical insights from well-known musicians, researchers, DIY archivists and fans to explore the Canterbury Sound as an inter-generational phenomenon and a source of cultural identity. Associated with acts like Caravan, Soft Machine, Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers and Gong, this romanticised scene has a special place in popular music culture.

The editors Asya, Shane and Andy will be discussing themes of the book with Dr Sarah Hill, Associate Professor of Popular Music at Oxford University. Sarah has been Co-ordinating Editor of the journal Popular Music since 2012, and Chair of the UK and Ireland branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music since 2016. Her research to date has largely focused on issues of identity and popular music, particularly in Welsh-language culture, and in the historiography of popular music.

The three editors and the discussion lead will also be joined by many of the contributors to the collection who are identify with the concept of the Canterbury Sound in a range of different ways. Some of the confirmed authors who will take part in the discussion include Brian Hopper (Wilde Flowers/Soft Machine), Professor Murray Smith (University of Kent), Dr Mengyao Jiang (Qingdao University), Jack Hues, members of Lapis Lazuli and many more.

About the speakers:

Dr Asya Draganova is a Lecturer in Popular Music Culture and leads the MA in Media in Cultural Studies at Birmingham City University. In her research and publications, Asya uses an ethnographic approach to explore topics including contemporary East European subcultural scenes, popular music heritage, and the relationships between identity, place, and myth. Asya co-leads the Popular Music Research Cluster at the BCMCR. She is involved with a range of popular music studies journals such as Riffs and Metal Music Studies, and also publishes new music reviews for The Arts Desk. Asya plays the guitar, sings, and explores creativity in poetry and visual arts.  She is the author of the monograph Popular Music in Contemporary Bulgaria: At the Crossroads (2019).

Shane Blackman is Professor of Cultural Studies at Canterbury Christ Church University. Before starting his career in sociology and cultural studies, Shane worked in the music industry as a Manager of an Our Price Record store in central London.  He has a PhD in Sociology, he gained an ESRC studentship at the Institute of Education, University of London, where his supervisors were Professor Basil Bernstein and Professor Phil Cohen. Shane’s most book publications include, Chilling Out: the cultural politics of substance consumption, youth and drug policy (2004); The Subcultural Imagination: Theory, Research and Reflexivity in Contemporary Youth Cultures (2016) with Michelle Kempson; and Youth Marginality in Britain: contemporary studies of austerity (2017) with Ruth Rogers.  Shane is Research Fellow of the Danish National Centre for Social Research and a Research Associate at the Sociology Department, Goldsmiths. He is an Editor of the International Journal of Youth Studies and also an Editor of YOUNG: the Nordic Journal of Youth Research. Shane is also a member of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC): Peer Review College.

Andy Bennett is Professor of Cultural Sociology in the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science at Griffith University. He has written and edited numerous books including Popular Music and Youth Culture, Music, Style and Aging (2012) and Music Scenes (co-edited with Richard A. Peterson, 2004). He is a Faculty Fellow of the Yale Centre for Cultural Sociology, an International Research Fellow of the Finnish Youth Research Network, a founding member and a founding member of the Regional Music Research Group. He has published his research on the Canterbury Sound through a series of journal articles and chapters in edited books.

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