Is the Virtual Real ?

Musical Communities in the 21st Century

If you have been performing online and are finding it a useful tool for music-making…

If you have been collaborating remotely with other musicians and are finding new ways to work together, and unexpected expressive possibilities…

If you have found inspiration for your musical creativity in response to the current social paradigm…

If you have reached a broader audience or discovered new ways to engage with the world through music…

If you have been teaching online and would like to share your insights and skills…

If you have been challenged by the COVID-19 situation—artistically and financially—but are nonetheless finding ways to adapt and grow… 

If you are fascinated by the ways in which people are responding to music, and with music, under social distancing conditions…

2020 has thrust us all into a new social reality. With the pandemic keeping us physically distanced, digital interactions have become more vital than ever before. At this year’s international conference, which will take place in our shared virtual reality, we will consider the myriad ways that technologies change the makeup and substance of our musical communities.

As with all technological upheavals, the digital revolution has brought with it a complex mix of blessings and curses. The internet connects and isolates us; it makes new collaborations possible yet pushes us into digital silos; it facilitates novel modes of listening while displacing others. The internet reshapes the ways we communicate with one another, even the ways we communicate with ourselves.

Here in Southeast Asia, our musical heritage is very much infused with a collective spirit. Through most of our history, music has been created collectively, for the good of society. Might current and emerging technologies foster a renaissance of these musical values? Or alternately, is their primary effect to enhance our focus on the self?

We invite papers that explore the makeup of musical communities, both historically and in our current digital age. How do musical communities coalesce? What roles does music play in creating and strengthening social ties? How have technologies destroyed and created musical communities in the past? How are they doing so today? 

This year’s conference will take place online, with keynote addresses, panel discussions, and performances streamed on Zoom and Facebook Live. Papers presentations will be grouped by themes, such as education, performance, composition, and sociomusicology. Further themed sessions may be added as needed.

We welcome papers on any and all musical subjects and encourage submissions of cross-disciplinary work. Paper presentations will be 10-15 minutes in length, and each paper session will conclude with a moderated 5-10 minute discussion in which the authors bring their papers into dialogue with one other. 

We look forward to seeing you here/there/everywhere.

Pictures:

Visual Experiments by Nattapol  (Graphic Designer) & Pattarapol Sripanya (Sound Designer)