Thursday, December 6, 2012

IASPM: Music Festivals and the State of our Planet: An Eco-Musicological Perspective

Donna Weston gave a fantastic paper this afternoon. She talked about ecomusicology and in particular WOMADelaide and Woodford Folk Festival and the connection between music and the environment. Donna stated that at music festivals there is commonly a sense of community, a common purpose and often a degree of environmental awareness.

The aim of her study was to consider ways in which festivals could be forums where environmental responsibility is raised with a particular view to inspiring people to take action to help the environment after the festival is over.

By way of an introduction to the ideas of ecomusicolgy, Donna explained that the field concerns itself with the relationship between society and the natural environment. It questions the role that musicology plays in the welfare and survival of humanity. Furthermore it asks whether the environmental crisis is relevant to music and whether musicology is relevant to solving it.

Donna was particularly interested in finding out how festivals incorporate environmental issues into their programs and reduce their environmental impact. Solidarity concerts, calls to action, raising awareness both from artists speaking out and displays, stalls and speakers, making financial donations to NGOs, merchandising, and showing audiences proof of environmentally friendly technology in action were all ways that these festivals had sought to promote environmental awareness.

Donna suggested that it would be best to adopt a deep ecology approach to the organisation of music festivals in the future to produce deep thinking and wisdom from audience members to ensure that individual responsibility and action emerges.

Donna mentioned a book I am hoping to get my hands on soon - Juke Box In The Garden - sounds like a fabulous read.

No comments: