Last summer, as members of the M4C cohort, Caroline, Kristen, Daniel and I (Giulia) had the chance to take part in the Digital Festival 2020, an online event supported by M4C that gave us the chance to share our research. At the conference, our session, “Music and Society”, was characterised by a productive and enlightening discussion. Thus, it was immediately clear to all of us that we were both enthusiastic about the opportunity to interact with other researchers and exchange ideas about Music, and thrilled for the helpful dialogue we had during the Q&A. This successful outcome led us to reach each other through social media expressing some ideas for further activities.
For different reasons, such as the size of our departments or the peculiar interdisciplinary character of our projects, we found ourselves experiencing a certain grade of isolation intensified by the dramatic reality of the pandemic. This shared experience was for us the catalyst that supported our motivation in putting together a certain something that could be helpful for researchers based in the Midlands and working on Music. At that stage, we began to identify our aims and intentions and imagine how to transform the idea into a reality. Shortly after, we came up with the better defined proposal of the Midlands Music Research Network.
We realised very quickly that the interdisciplinary nature of that initial session at the Digital Festival led us to consider music from perspectives that we could not even imagine before and that could inspire our research in unexpected ways. With the desire to recreate such an interdisciplinary space, we want to establish a network that can be a supportive environment and a safe space to experiment new ideas and put in place further collaborative activities.
How to start then? We are going to take a twofold approach putting in place: 1) a launching online conference that will help us in establishing the network and let people know about our group, 2) a stable online presence through a lively website that will enable us to share content about our research areas. Our initial conference is expected to take place around the end of the coming April and a call for paper with some more information about panels, topics and formats for participations will be circulated in a couple of months. In the meantime, our website will start to take shape. Here, you will be able to find information about the project, our members, further planned activities, and our contacts.
Stay tuned for further updates and consider being in touch and sharing with us your research on music!