‘Won’t You Spare Me Over Til Another Year?: Age, Death and Deferral in Old-Time Music’
I’ll be presenting current work as part of the Research in Progress series at the School of Media, Film and Music, University of Sussex, on Wednesday 26 February at 4pm. Details here.
In this talk I’ll present material from the book I’m currently writing on the representation of time, age and experience in popular music. The focus of the talk will be on Ralph Stanley, a bluegrass or ‘old-time’ musician whose long career in popular music gained fresh recognition following the use of his music in the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000). Starting with a discussion of the song ‘O Death’, the talk will examine discourse around Stanley’s age and the ways in which age is witnessed in his voice. This will lead to a discussion of musicians and songs as representation of earlier times and what happens when old musics are revived.