A past presentation from earlier in the year at University of Newcastle’s School of Creative Arts symposium…

Convergence: Hybridity in New Folk Music

Amelia Besseny,

UON School of Creative Arts (Music)

Convergence can be thought of as a meeting place, the spot where two or more things intersect. Folk music is infused with imagery of another intersection, crossroads. Symbolically the crossroads are a meeting of the worlds but within studies of folk music theoretical crossroads also emerge recurrently as representations of divergence. These fixate on binary thoughts of folk music, often defining what it is by what it is not. Digital technologies more often fall on the side of what folk music is not. Studies of traditional communities of folk music settling with these dualisms don’t always look kindly onto change. At times further exploration that branches into individual creativity and realisation of ‘outside sources’ in folk music is neglected.

This exploration utilises material collected from physical and virtual fieldwork and interviews conducted with folk musicians, which supplement and support a broad range of data collected from journals, audio and visual sources. This presentation will touch on topics of convergence in digital modes and tools, the convergence of people in social clusters as a result of technology-mediated interactions, and the hybridity of ideas and influences resultant of these convergences in folk music today.



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