The Idea of North, Post-Nationalism, and the Changing Ecology of Experimental Music Performance in Canada
January 17, 2018 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
MMaP Lecture Series
Dr. Ellen Waterman (Memorial University of Newfoundland)
Wednesday, January 17, 2018 (7:30 P.M.)
For much of the 20th century, Canada was de ned by tropes of nature and place, most famously the “idea of north” that was rst expressed in experimental music in Glenn Gould’s famous 1969 radio collage of the same name. But how does the “idea of north” trope relate to Canadian experimental music today? This talk explores the changing ecology of experimental music in the rst decades of the 21st century and especially the symbiotic relationship between public funding and artistic programming and content. I track the effects on experimental music of shifting priorities at the Canada Council for the Arts towards a post-genre, post-reconciliation, diversity-driven agenda that positions music in terms of philosopher John Ralston-Saul’s ambiguous de nition of Canada as a “perpetually un nished experiment” in post-nationalism. Drawing on performance studies and acoustic ecology, I trouble these terms and show how experimental music festivals operate as dynamic ecosystems in which developing and often con icting notions of identity are performed.
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