COLLECTIVE CARE IN ICELANDIC MUSIC





IS
Enginn er eyland í íslenskri tónlist: 
Þorbjörg Daphne Hall
Benjamin Lassauzet – ONLINE  
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen
Konstantine Vlasis – ONLINE

Smellið hér til að horfa á upptöku frá málstofunni

Föstudagur 23. september 
9:00 - 11:00 
L223 - Svarti salur

Málstofa með spurt og svarað
Lengd: 60 minútur
Tungumál: enska


Málstofan kannar hugmyndina um að enginn sé eyland í íslenskri tónlist í fimm ólíkum fyrirlestrum. Fjölbreyttar tónlistartegundir og tilvik liggja til grundvallar, allt frá iðkun þjóðlagahefðarinnar og rímnasöngs að samtímatónlist og er unnið með verk Bjarkar, Maríu Huldar Markan Sigfúsdóttur, Högna Egilssonar og GDRN. Þá er einnig fjallað um greiningu á tónlistarsenunni í Reykjavík og á listasamlögunum Smekkleysu og post-dreifingu. Með áherslu á að engin sé eyland þá vinna fyrirlestrarnir með margvísleg viðfangsefni, m.a. um náttúrlegt- og borgarumhverfi, vistfræði, tilfinningar og vellíðan og margvíslegar nálganir á samvinnu og samkeppni.


 

EN
Collective Care in Icelandic Music:
Þorbjörg Daphne Hall
Benjamin Lassauzet – ONLINE
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen
Konstantine Vlasis – ONLINE 

Click here to watch a recording of the seminar

Friday September 23rd 

9 AM - 11 AM
L223 - Black Box
Seminar with Q&A
Duration: 60 minutes
Language: English
 


This session examines the idea of “collective care” in Icelandic music through five different papers. They focus on diverse musical genres and case studies, ranging from traditional music making to the contemporary musicians Björk, María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir, Högni Egilsson and GDRN. They also explore the local music scene in Reykjavík and the art collectives Bad Taste (i. Smekkleysa) and post-dreifing. Through the lens of “collective care” the papers investigate various topics including both natural and urban environments and ecological issues, emotions and sense of wellbeing, and various aspects of collaboration and competition.

Þorbjörg Daphne Hall

Narratives of collaboration and competition of the Icelandic popular music scene

This paper considers the idea of ‘collective care’ within the popular music scene in Iceland. The scene is portrayed to be very friendly and supportive. People share rehearsal spaces, know and live near each other and musicians often end up spending their time in the same places. The scene is described as being made up of friends and many of the research participants touched upon the aspect of friendship and described how their network of musicians had been built up through mutual friendship and acquaintances. Most musicians spoke of the friendships and networks as a positive thing and something which was easy to build up or get into, due to the size of the scene. However, one musician did point out that it could potentially be difficult for people who are starting out. Since the scene is built up of interconnected groups of friends, which formed in school or college, it can be perceived as exclusive. This was also seen to be especially difficult for people who are not from the capital area and do not have contacts there. It was also mentioned that since this is such a small community, ‘you can be doomed if you offend someone with power [...] or they just don’t like you, because there are so few people with a lot of power, both to help you but also to hinder you’. The paper thus critically examines how these narratives of collaboration and competition play out within the scene and how these match and impact the experiences of musicians and industry members.

BIO
Þorbjörg Daphne Hall is an Associate Professor of Musicology at the Iceland University of the Arts in Reykjavík where she has been a member of staff since 2010. She holds a PhD from the University of Liverpool. Her research has focused on exploring contemporary popular music in Iceland through the lens of national identity and image, landscape and nature. She is also working on a research project on the reception of jazz in Iceland (1930-2010) and research on the social impact of creative music workshops. Hall has published and presented conference papers internationally on various aspects of Icelandic Music.


Benjamin Lassauzet - ONLINE
Björk’s ecofeminism in Utopia

In reaction to the dystopia promised by climate change, fueled by the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, Björk stages in her latest album Utopia (2017) a refuge for humanity taking the form of an imaginary paradise free of patriarchy and in communion with nature. In this context, the perspective deployed in the album is similar to the ecofeminist approach, whose manifestations in the album and the subsequent Cornucopia tour shall be addressed.

BIO
Benjamin Lassauzet has a PhD in musicology, is professeur agrégé at Clermont-Auvergne University, researcher at CHEC (History Centre “Space and Cultures”) and member of CREAA (Research and Experimentation Centre on Artistic Act). Most of his works revolve around Debussy’s music, especially on the topics of timbre (La Fonction structurante du timbre dans les Préludes pour piano de Debussy, Cahiers Recherche, 25, 2014) and humour (L'Humour de Claude Debussy, Hermann, Paris, 2019). Moreover, he recently oriented towards Icelandic popular music, and won the Jean-Jacques Nattiez Prize in 2020 for an article on Björk (“A propos d’identité. Analyse de la pop music islandaise moderne de Björk”). He is currently preparing a book on this artist.


Konstantine Vlasis - ONLINE
PhD Candidate in Ethnomusicology at New York University

Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen
Proximity problems: Icelandic popular music societies from a sociological angle

The lecture is drawn from a PhD project that was carried out under the supervision of Professor Simon Frith at the University of Edinburgh. The research delved into the social dynamics of Icelandic musicians, making use of participant observation, in-depth interviews and the researcher’s career as a music journalist in his native country. A grounded theory arose from the interview data, confirming that the ‘village’ factor in the construction of the small Icelandic society (pop. 340.000) both frees musicians up and constricts them. On a positive note, the factor makes for a noticeable lack in bureaucratic formalities in terms of general communication, cultural institutions, etc., underpinning vibrant and active scenes where musicians move freely between genres. On the negative side, these qualities and the small scale of most operations also stifles and suffocates aspiring musicians.
 
These results are then used to shed a light on how ‘collective care’ manifests itself in two comparable case studies, i.e. Bad Taste, an art collective with roots in the 1980s and then post-dreifing, a similar art-collective in operation today.  We will look at how they operate on daily basis, what their philosophies are and how dynamics between individuals and groups behave. Michael P. Farrell‘s writing on these matters (Collaborative Circles: Friendship Dynamics & Creative Work) is used as lens, along with other relatable literature. 

BIO
 Dr. Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen (b. 1974) earned his master’s degree from the University of Edinburgh in 2013 and a PhD in 2019 from the same university, where he carried out a research on the social dynamics of Icelandic musicians under the supervision of Professor Simon Frith. He is now the director of the undergraduate media and communication studies programme at The University of Iceland (The Faculty of Social and Human Sciences). He is the author of three books on Icelandic music.