I've contributed a chapter to the newly published Routledge Companion to Popular Music History and Heritage, edited by Sarah Baker, Catherine Strong, Lauren Istvandity and Zelmarie Cantillon. My chapter is entitled 'Sounding Out Popular Music HIstory: A Musicological Approach'. SUMMARY: While the relationship between musicology and history has shifted considerably over time, the importance of… Continue reading New publication: Sounding Out Popular Music History
Following the audio trailer I posted for my new book The Sound of Nonsense, I've now made a video trailer too. This uses different examples from the audio taster but with the same aim of bringing together sources from literature, sound poetry, nonsense writing and pop music. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzDuLgPjeJw
Here is an audio taster of my new book The Sound of Nonsense, published on 28 December.
Leonard Cohen's death has been announced. Cohen is the second of the musicians I wrote about in The Late Voice to have died this year. When Ralph Stanley passed away in June, we were reeling from the results of the EU Referendum. Cohen's passing was announced in the wake of the catastrophic election of Donald… Continue reading Old Ideas: Leonard Cohen’s Late Voice
Following the news of Prince's death yesterday, here's a link to a piece I wrote for The Conversation on his combination of writing, vocal and instrumental voice: Prince: an icon of a new form of classical music
I will be participating in a panel with Emily Baker, Ian Biddle and Freya Jarman at the EMP Pop Conference in Seattle. Our panel is on Sunday 17 April and my paper is entitled 'A Blank Space Where You Write Your Name: Taylor Swift’s Early Late Voice'. Abstract below. Taylor Swift’s songs invite listeners to… Continue reading Upcoming presentation: ‘A Blank Space Where You Write Your Name’
I will be presenting my current research at the University of York on Wednesday 27 January as part of the Music Department's research seminar series. My talk is entitled 'Be-bop-sh-boom-a-langa-langa-doo-wop: Pop’s Love of Nonsense' and it relates to my current research project 'The Sound of Nonsense'. Abstract below. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Gc4QTqslN4 In this paper I explore popular… Continue reading Upcoming presentation: Be-bop-sh-boom-a-langa-langa-doo-wop: Pop’s Love of Nonsense
Last week, the philosopher Roger Scruton used a 10-minute talk on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Point of View’ programme to rail, once more, against popular culture. His talk, entitled ‘The Tyranny of Pop’, attacked what he sees as the denigration of culture, social interaction and education by the ‘banal melodies’, ‘mechanical rhythms’ and general ubiquity of… Continue reading ‘Pop pollution’ as ‘pornography’? I can’t even