As the funded phase of LED winds to its conclusion, we must all of us be thinking just a little about the overarching purpose and purport of the project. Has it been principally an exercise in Digital Humanities: of collection, transfer and the collation of interesting information ? If so, it must be considered mainly in the light of providing an aid to research for other scholars to employ in their own work. Or if there another heuristic effort going on?
Simon Brown has had an article describing the project published in the British Universities Film & Video Council’s journal, Viewfinder, available at http://bufvc.ac.uk/articles/the-listening-experience
Abstract: In his speech, ‘On Receiving the First Aspen Award’, Benjamin Britten described ‘true musical experience’ as a ‘holy triangle of composer, performer and listener’. When we think of this concept, we usually consider it to be three equal sides of a triangle, with all three participants in the musical experience being equal partners. However, when we consider the written history of music, things are anything but equal; you only need to visit the library or retrieve a quick Internet search to reveal the vast amounts of information on composers and performers. These are the people we celebrate, whose names enter the imaginary museum of musical works. For most people, they are the focus of our attention, but what about the listeners? If we accept Britten’s idea that the listener is an intrinsic and vital part of the experience – how can we hope to understand the history of music if we’re only getting two thirds of the story? This short paper attempts to explain the purpose and methodology behind the Listening Experience Database project.
LED conference call for papers
As you know, the LED conference ‘Listening to music: people, practices and experiences, takes place at the RCM in October. You can read more about the conference and the Call for Papers on our website: http://led.kmi.open.ac.uk/node/83/ . We've had a number of proposals for papers, but the deadline is now approaching fast! So if you would like to submit a proposal, please ensure that it reaches us before midnight on 12 April by emailing it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The British Library Labs team organised a THATCamp, The Humanities and Technology Camp, on Friday 13 February 2015, hosted in the British Library’s Conference Centre, London.
The day benefited from the excellent organisation, easily accessible location, with good facilities and lovely food, that the British Library team always provide and which makes everything else with the day go so well.
This evening, the LED development team will be applying updates to various aspects of the site. These include changes to how the search results are displayed and the titles given to each listening experience. Minor cosmetic changes are being made to the homepage (such as the font size and layout). Whilst further work is anticipated once we’ve consulted with KMi’s web designer, the main change that you will see is how an individual record is displayed for each listening experience. We are also introducing support for the linked data set, MusicBrainz. This should increase the usability and ease of inputting music-related details into the music sub-form.
Thanks to the OU MA students who attended the study day – it was great to meet you. For those of you who don’t know what this was all about, the OU’s Music MA, which was new in 2014, features LED as a case study. To coincide with the point where the students begin to look at this case study, we held an event for them at the RCM on Friday 23 January.
Our apologies for the rather lengthy gap since the last newsletter – which we can only put down to the distraction of preparing for the symposium on 20 November.
The symposium was very successful - it was great to see those of you who were able to come along, and for those who couldn’t, all the sessions were recorded, and Simon is currently editing the videos. The size of the files means that this is quite a time-consuming job, so please bear with us – they are destined for the website, and we’ll let you known as soon as they’re available.
Listening to music: people, practices and experiences
24-25 October 2015, the Royal College of Music, London, UK
The conference is held as part of the Listening Experience Database (LED) Project www.open.ac.uk/Arts/LED
The keynote speaker will be Professor Simon Frith.
How have people responded to listening to music in their everyday lives?
Helen Barlow gave a paper at the Research Center for Music Iconography conference ‘Sounds of War and Victories’ at City University New York on 11 November. Entitled ‘From the band of musick to the concert party, c. 1780-1918: the changing role of musical entertainment in the British army’, the paper will be published in the 2016 edition of the journal Music in Art.
On 21 October 2014, Alessandro Adamou gave a LED demo at the 13th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2014), Riva del Garda, Italy. This has been published in the conference proceedings at http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-1272/paper_74.pdf as A. Adamou, M. D’Aquin, H. Barlow, S. Brown, (2014), ‘LED: curated and crowdsourced Linked Data on Music Listening Experiences’.