Audio for Daniel Grimley’s Intro to HLC 2016 meeting

Click above to listen to Prof. Daniel Grimley’s introduction to Hearing Landscape Critically’s fourth and final meeting in Oxford in April 2016, in which he reflects on the life of the network.



Meeting in Oxford, April 21-22, 2016

banner-building2After four years, our fourth and final meeting will be taking place where the network began, at the University of Oxford’s Faculty of Music, on April the 21st and 22nd. Featuring the return of many faces from conferences past, presenting their research will be Marié Abe, Zeynep Bulut, Peter Cusack, Willemien Froneman, Michael Gallagher, Bonnie Gordon, Marietjie Pauw, George Revill, Christabel Stirling and Catherine Tackley, together with Dan Grimley, Jo Hicks, Michael Uy and Carina Venter from the HLC team. This meeting will be particularly focused on discussion, and aims to bring the network’s running themes to fruition.

Space is limited, but if you’d like to attend, please do get in touch with the HLC network administrator Adam Harper on

To have a look at the Schedule, click here: HLC 2016 Schedule

Interview with Elysia Crampton

Adam Harper, the administrator for Hearing Landscape Critically (that’s me!) recently put an interview with composer Elysia Crampton up on his blog – click here to read it. Her work explores landscapes of the Americas and their colonial histories. As she says:

when i think of geography, i think of all the things that cling to/ define a body as it moves through space or manifests a locality, toward/ away from something else, where and what it was or couldn’t be. we carry whatever was thrown onto us at birth– things clutter, signalling divergent, sometimes contradictory messages, changing with each new environment we find ourselves in. i live as the embodiment of a continued dreaming by my ancestors– progenitors of stone, chemical, single-celled and zooidic forebearers, to my native family under the enslavement of the inca and then the spanish, to my mother arriving in the US as a child, unable to speak english at a school in Barstow, California. my desires quantize into the detrital unmooring that is Americanness.

Listen to ‘Wing’ from her recent release American Drift below:

Responses to the Hejnał at Unsound Festival, Kraków

Hejnał Mariacki is a traditional melody that has been performed on trumpets hourly from the spire of St. Mary’s Church in the Polish city of Kraków for century. Recently, as part of the city’s Unsound festival for underground, experimental and electronic music, sonic responses were made by musical and sonic artists such as cornetist Rob Mazurek and composer Tim Hecker (from the top of the tower of the Ratusz, the old Town – see video above). As the LA times put it:

Unsound mounted four “responses” to the “Hejnal.” None of these performances were made specific until afterward, meaning that the audience was largely tourists and natives strolling through the rainy square, looking up and wondering where the weird sounds were coming from.

The theme is traditionally played on trumpet four times in a row, once in each cardinal direction. On Sunday, electronic musician Tim Hecker set up a speaker in a tower of the old town hall facing the church. Every time the trumpeter played the Hejnal theme from St. Mary’s, Hecker responded with a slow pattern of bell tones that sounded like a sedated music box. It was as free as music gets. No names, no faces, no stage. It was just signals in the air, tied to no physical event. If you want an inverse of the stadium rock spectacle, this was it.

Pitchfork wrote that ‘Tim Hecker played glinting ambient music for unsuspecting tourists below; in the other, the Chicago cornetist Rob Mazurek played melancholy riffs and runs… Tim Hecker’s church-tower performance turned a misty city square into a performance space.’ Clips of Hecker’s performance from the tower can be seen here and here. See Mazurek’s performance here and below:

As part of the festival, musical performances were also held hundreds of meters underground in a nearby salt mine. More information, as well as reviews of the festival, can be found on the Unsound Facebook page.

Call for Papers: The London Stage and the Nineteenth-Century World – 14-16 April 2016, New College, Oxford

Jonathan Hicks, founding member of the HLC team, has issued a call for papers for a (non HLC-affiliated) conference he is organising with Michael Burden, of the University of Oxford’s Faculty of Music, under the title ‘The London Stage and the Nineteenth-Century World.’ The dates are 14-16 April 2016, it will be held at New College, Oxford, click here for the website, and the CFP is reproduced below:

‘Plurality’ might be the most accurate description of the London stage in the nineteenth century: plurality of genre, of style, of theatre buildings. There were new dramatic forms, new technological advances, and new styles of management, not to mention new audiences and ways of attending the theatre.

We welcome contributions on all aspects and forms of drama and theatrical practice, from plays and operas to pantomime and puppetry. Subjects might include: theatrical resources, including collections; the constitution and history of theatrical genres; publishing and circulation; stage biography; music and musicians; scenography and spectacle; and theatrical spaces of all kinds. The ‘London stage’ should be interpreted as inclusively as possible, and we particularly seek papers on such topics as criticism, dance, the staging of the exotic, music hall entertainments, and international influences on London theatre. The meeting will provide an opportunity to take stock of the range of research currently being undertaken in the field as well as a chance to consider the place of London in the broader theatrical and political world.

All sessions will be held at New College, Oxford, with a keynote address by Daniel O’Quinn (University of Guelph) at the Bodleian Library’s new Weston Research Library. The conference is timed to lead up to the Bodleian Library’s exhibition ‘Staging History’, which will be held in the new Weston Research Library in October 2016.

Those wishing to give formal 20-minute papers should submit an abstract of no more than 200 words, and a biography of 100 words. However, we also encourage submissions for discussion panels, and are keen to receive proposals for other formats. The panel for paper selection will be Michael Burden, Jim Davis, Jonathan Hicks, David Francis Taylor, and Susan Valladares.

All proposal are due by midnight on 11 December 2015, and should be submitted to Jacqui Julier

Inquiries to the organisers, Michael Burden or Jonathan Hicks

Noise and Silence (New Online Publication)

Noise and SilenceMy postgraduate colleagues at Oxford have founded a new online publication, Noise and Silence (click here for the website), which, they say, ‘which will bring you fresh and informed pieces on the issues facing all kinds of music in today’s digital 21st century society.’

‘Are you,’ they ask, ‘a writer, composer, artist, photographer, musician, DJ or film enthusiast? We’re looking for creatively minded people to contribute to NOISE & SILENCE! Email for enquiries and submissions.’

I’ve already given them a short essay about my own research – why not get in touch with them about yours?

Autumn Richardson & Richard Skelton: Memorious Earth

Autumn Richardson and Richard Skelton have released Memorious Earth, a fifth installment in a series, begun in 2010, of musical recordings and multimedia projects focussing on the Furness Fells of south-west Cumbria, UK. Combining list poetry, film and sound – a drone-based piece as AR* – Memorious Earth ‘examines geological, topographical and toponymic features of the region, crawling across the scars, fells and crags that pockmark the landscape, holding magnifying glasses to the flora and fauna, and seeing multitudes’ (as Wire magazine put it). The standard edition includes a download card for all the previous AR* releases (embedded below), which can also be found on the Bandcamp page of Aeolian editions. For more information, see the publisher’s website here.