Welcome to our website, the online home of our Australian Research Council (ARC) funded project, Popular Music and Cultural Memory: localised popular music histories and their significance for national music industries. Visit our site regularly for updates on our research's progress, as well as links to our project's outcomes as they appear. Find out more about our project and its aims here.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Our project in the Netherlands - Rotterdam, Hoek van Holland and The Hague

For the last couple of weeks Sarah has been in Rotterdam working closely with one of the project's partner investigators, Susanne Janssen and her Dutch HERA team who are involved in the European sister project to 'Popular Music and Cultural Memory', called POPID. While in Rotterdam, Sarah had the opportunity to present a seminar paper at Erasmus University. The paper, 'Memorialisation of country music in an Australian town' was based on research conducted earlier in the year at Tamworth, and was co-written by Alison Huber.

During her time in Rotterdam Sarah made two trips to Hoek van Holland to visit Museum RockArt, a small museum that collects and displays items related to Dutch popular music history, including material related to the key global performers who have influenced the music culture of the Netherlands.

Museum RockArt is an example of what Sarah and Alison term "DIY institutions". They define such institutions as 'places of popular music preservation, archiving and display that exist outside the bounds of "official" or "national" projects of collection and heritage management' and which emerge 'from within communities of music consumption' (Baker & Huber, forthcoming). DIY institutions are staffed primarily by volunteers and Museum RockArt is no exception --- having a core group of volunteers that bring the museum space alive for visitors.

The people at Museum RockArt also had a hand in curating the Golden Earring: Back Home exhibition that Sarah visited  at the Haags Historich Museum in The Hague. The exhibition was a celebration of 50 years of the (arguably) seminal Dutch band Golden Earring.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The "Home of Metal" exhibition in Birmingham, UK

Still in the UK, Sarah traveled to Birmingham last week to view an exhibition at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery called Home of Metal. The focus was the last 40 years of metal music and its relationship to the British midlands.

Sarah was lucky enough to be at the museum at the same time as Noddy Holder, the lead singer of Slade, who was there to produce a story about the exhibition for Sky Arts. Noddy showed Sarah what he considered to be one of the best items on display - the letter from Lars Ulrich (Metallica) to Brian Tatler (Diamond Head), written when Metallica had not yet "made-it".

Noddy's highlight: the letter from Lars to Brian

Sarah made sure she purchased a Home of Metal 'family tree' tea towel at the exhibition shop before heading back to London!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Our project in the UK

After a fruitful month of fieldwork in Israel, Sarah is now in London undertaking the UK leg of the research. So far she has visited commercial record label archives, the British Library sound archive and the archive of public broadcaster, the BBC. Interviews have also been conducted with music journalists and documentary makers, and Sarah was lucky to have the opportunity to talk to a member of the production team of the groundbreaking BBC documentary series from the mid-1990s, Dancing in the Street. There are also a number of museums Sarah will be touring during her visit, including The Beatles Story in Liverpool. Yesterday, for example, Sarah went to the British Music Experience, dubbed "Britain's Museum of Popular Music". This museum is part of the O2 Bubble (Millennium Dome) complex in Greenwich and charts the development of British music since 1945 using interactive technologies.