Thursday, July 16, 2009

IASPM: Day Four

The hardest part of this morning was trying to decide which presentations to see – there was so much to choose from.


First I went to Alenka Barber-Kersovan's paper on 'The Construction of Patriotism in the Propaganda Video „For the Freedom" from the Croatian Civil War 1991/1992'.


She played a segment of the film and a song recorded by a Croatian popular musician which urged other European countries to help stop the war. The song was sung in English in order to increase its appeal outside of the country with images of the destruction of war, children and the landscape helping to depict the country as weak and vulnerable and in need of assistance. This was a fascinating presentation and I found the video and the talk very informative and interesting.


The second paper I attended was "From ghetto laboratory to the technosphere" by Dennis Howard. This was a great presentation which discussed the cross national origins that have led to the development of hip hop – from blues and roots, to Jamaican reggae to hip hop. He discussed the hierarchy that has developed in Jamaica and how western music is most often considered to be of a higher or better quality than that which is composed and recorded at home – he noted that Bob Marley was not played in Jamaica until he had been taken up by the western media. Dennis also noted that for some time there was no copyright in Jamaica which saw all R&B music and reggae copied and distributed at will. Furthermore he discussed the adoption of technologies in the production of the music and mentioned how western technologies were altered and used in different ways in third world countries.


The third paper I saw this morning was "Poietic processes in sample-based hip-hop" by Marco Lutzu. Marco discussed the process and equipment used in the composition of hip hop. He discussed producers and the relationship with sound, noting that it is archived, sampled, edited, played, drawn, visualised, then embodied according to genre specific compositional rules and finally humanised which is the point at which it is included in a larger work. He concluded that "the creation of sample based hip-hop beats is a poietic process with several specifications. By relying on a great use of technology, sharing particular listening behaviours, conceiving the pieces by functional layers, basing himself(sic) on an ethical and aesthetical system in which the quotation mustn't become plagiarism, and having a close and direct relationship with the sound, has made the producer a new kind of music creator."

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