Archive for August 2012

Throwing Sheep in the Bandroom

First slide of conference presentation

Throwing Sheep in the Bandroom

The YouTube version of the presentation I gave at the Conference on the Arts in Society last month is now available:- ‘Throwing Sheep in the Bandroom’.

You can also find a brief introduction to the book which inspired the title on YouTube:- ‘Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom’ .

There’s a fleeting mention in my presentation of undergraduate studies on modern-day Chester music scenes.  This work was done by Michael Greaney, who was a dissertation student of mine in 2011-12.  You can find a taste of what he produced at YouTube – Chester Music Scenes


Conferring in Liverpool

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, reflected in the entrance to the conference venue at John Moores University

Liverpool John Moores University was the venue for an International Conference on the Arts in Society last month.  I went along to give a presentation on my Ph.D research work on live music in Chester.  My own research is interdisciplinary with a vengeance, so I found the wide range of presentation topics at the conference very interesting.  I learned all sorts of fascinating things about film editing conventions, tile design in Turkey, the creative industries in rural Australia and contemporary art networks in China, and met some interesting people in the process as well.  (You can download the full conference programme here.)

Part of the deal with this conference was an opportunity to upload the material I presented to the conference YouTube channel. This was excellent practice in reducing years of research and thousands of words of text to less than 15 minutes of speech, plus images.  It also gave me extra practice in remembering how to use GarageBand and iMovie to combine slides and narration.  This is something I do about once every 18 months, which is just long enough to forget the tricks and shortcuts and have to learn them all again from scratch.  I was also reminded (again) of the wisdom of the saying ‘If all else fails, read the instructions’; my first ‘finished’ presentation was slightly more than twice the prescribed length and in the wrong format!  The extremely concise and to the point fifteen-minute version is now ready instead.  (I’ll post a link to it here once it’s uploaded.)

Since the conference I’ve had a short holiday, and done a lot more writing-up for my thesis.  It’s been very pleasant to discover just how much material for my draft chapter on ‘The Chester Jazz and Dance Band Scene in Context’ I could extract straight from presentations I’ve given at conferences and seminars, including this one.  Lots more prodding and polishing will be needed before the chapters are up to thesis standard, but it’s definitely starting to look like it’s all been worth it.

We haven’t seen sky this colour round here recently!

A breath of fresh air outside the conference venue