When the Light Gets In: Lets Have More Music Debate Next Year

I have managed to find time to see several events at the Hay Festival fringe event this week – How The Light Get’s In. I have to say I have been impressed – so much so that I have not made any events at the main Hay Festival (which is also very good of course). After spending much of last Saturday listening to philosophical debates ranging from the meaning of time, Hawkins v Philosophy to the nature of reality, it was good to spend time today listening to discussions related to music: which I know a little more about 🙂 The first session today was reportedly the first philosophical debate concerning music at the festival – concerning the relationship of ‘classical’ music to pop – and if the former is under threat by the latter. The conversation was stimulating – although at times predictable. It did make me think that there really is space for more debates such as this year – with the potential to get a greater span of speakers taken from ‘popular music’ academia.

This was followed by a showing of Michael Nyman’s new work Nyman With a Movie Camera  – a remake of his Man with a Movie Camera – using his own footage alongside the original score, with the showing of the film followed by a short discussion with Nyman himself. I have always enjoyed the original version – and was fascinated to see what the inspiration is behind the new version. When watching the movie, for me, I got the impression that the new version was based on the relationship between change and the ‘unchanging’ – as all of the  footage is overtly based on the original film. However, it was interesting that Nyman did not really seem to have any objective for the movie aside from giving himself artistic gratification. Much of the movie is based on what seems to me to be a voyeuristic obsession with recording other people’s life as he passes through his own – I found it a bit odd really. However – great music by a great composer – although the ‘meaning’ associated with it during the after film debate was very vague.It was great to get someone of Nyman’s stature to the festival – so heres hoping that there is more musicological debate next year. @iaitv #howthelightgetsin

About Paul Carr

Academic working at the University of Glamorgan
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