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.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Our project in Adelaide, Canberra, Sydney

Project team researcher, Ian Rogers, has been gathering interview data in Australian capital cities over the last couple of months, and has spoken to dozens of locals about their city's music scenes, and the personal memories that coalesce around music practices there. First stop was Adelaide, a place whose vibrant music scene sometimes doesn't receive the recognition it deserves. Ian visited lots of music venues in the city and found a community of enthusiastic music listeners who were keen to participate in our project. Next on the itinerary was our country's capital, Canberra. On the day Ian landed, the Canberra Times featured a nostalgic piece on the twentieth anniversary of US band Nirvana's performance in the city, which set an appropriate backdrop to a series of interviews with people involved in the music scene there. Last stop was Sydney, where Ian interviewed a range of performers, audience members, record store workers, and radio people, and spent time exploring the city's inner city scenes that weekend visitors are rarely able to experience without a guide.

Ian summarised his experience in this way: "I learned during this fieldwork that our city scenes have more in common than not. None of these communities were particularly stable. I've argued elsewhere but it was reiterated on this trip that the narrative of popular music production in Australia is predominantly about instability. It's about how communities of music people push on when venues, funding, audiences, and media come and go. So it's generally about tenaciousness and resourcefulness. That's the character of what I saw time and again, everywhere I went".

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