Archive for the ‘Live music’ Category

Cyberworlds in Chester

Hot on the heels of my visit to Limerick in the summer came another academic conference that was much closer to home, as it was hosted by my own department (Computer Science) at the University of Chester.  This was the Cyberworlds 2017 conference, which was organised by my colleagues Prof. Nigel John & Dr. Serban Pop, in collaboration with Dr. Alexei Sourin from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore).  Academics arrived in Chester from all over the world to share the results of their latest research, make new contacts, and renew old ones.  Many research students and members of staff in the department were pressed into service to help with the never-ending list of tasks that are required to make a conference happen; my own contributions included shepherding delegates on and off of buses between Chester city centre and Thornton Science Park, chopping up large amounts of cheese, and arranging for two guitarists to provide some evening entertainment.  I also collaborated with department lecturer Lee Beever and research student Peter Butcher to submit a poster for the conference, based on data gathered for my Ph.D. thesis, which happily was accepted.  I must admit I didn’t realise until rather close to the deadline that a short paper was required as well as the poster, which led to a few days of rather concentrated and intense work, but it was very satisfying to see the results in the final conference proceedings.  Within a week of the conference finishing we were welcoming this year’s new intake of Level 4 students.  Whatever else it may be, my job certainly isn’t boring!

Poster for Cyberworlds 2017

‘Traversing social networks in the virtual dance hall: visualising history in VR’



Hardbound and Heavy

Hardbound thesis

The hardbound version of my Ph.D thesis in all its 100,000+ words of glory.

It’s done; it’s finished; it’s been handed in for the very last time.  I’m simultaneously proud of it and pleased to see the back of it.  There will be no more re-writes, no more extra bits and no more final, final, final, really-the-last-one editing sessions.  Well, at least, not until the next big project comes along… (and I’ve got a few of those on the drawing board already).

But for now, this is it – job done.  All I’m waiting for now is the official letter from the University of Liverpool in a few weeks time.  As to-do list ‘ticks’ go, this is a pretty big one.

Posted October 17, 2015 by HVS in Chester, Live music, Liverpool, Thesis

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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