Just a quick update of some of my activities over the last month or so. So – not in any particular order – here goes.
Firstly, last weekend I contributed to a radio show on The Alarm’s Mike Peters – specifically the song ‘A New South Wales’. For those of you who are interested – it is available on I Player for the next few days
They Write the Songs Episode 4: Broadcast on Saturday March 8th 2014 at 1.30. Hosted by Alan Thomson
Apart from sounding like a thoroughly nice guy – I was really interested in the way that Peters was interested in returning to his Welsh Identity – and done so from taking a break from international touring to simply spend time in his homeland. Strangely – a paper I had published a while back on Welsh Identity in Popular Music missed out The Alarm – and I apologise for that – they should have been included. Unlike my main work at the moment which is focusing on Sting (see below), Peters seemed to go through this process at a relatively young age – but the process of songwriters/artists returning to their roots, and the impact this has on perceived authenticity interests me greatly.
The larger project I have been involved in over the last few months is putting together a proposal for a monograph on my fellow Geordie – Sting. The good news is that I have had a publisher agree to the book – Reaktion. I am really interested in putting together a book that not only resonates in some way with my own homeland of Newcastle – but also attempts to bridge the general readership/academic divide. So the number of ‘big words’ will be greatly reduced in this – watch this space! Although I can not start the book until the end of June because of other projects – I did manage to get to Ireland in February to discuss some of the ideas at a conference at The University of Ireland. Although not greatly produced – I have put together a screen-cast of the presentation below. Note – there is a section in the middle where You Tube cuts out a short audio sample I played – so you will need to fast forward here to around 15:28. If you wish to listen to the song beforehand – you can access it here.
The other main project I am involved in at the moment is researching interdisciplinary pedagogical strategies in Music, Dance and Drama. The project is funded by the Higher Education Academy
I will not post any details of this at the moment, but if you are involved in interdisciplinary higher education in either the UK or Internationally – you can assist by completing an online questionnaire