Well, after two years, one of my most gratifying publishing moments to date is to receive this edited collection today. It features six chapters, focusing on places such as Aberdare, Liverpool, Ebbw Vale, Birmingham, Liverpool and Merthyr Tydfil. I am really proud that three of the chapters are focused on South Wales, with Merthyr Tydfil being of particular significance to me. When I moved here five years ago, it quickly became apparent that this place had a rich musical history, but popular music seemed to have been written out of any documented history. So, I set about a quest to find out about it, document it and most importantly celebrate it. This resulted in a fantastic event as part of the Being Human Festival, where in addition to older generation recording their memories, the younger generation had the opportunity to reenact the music history of the town. This was followed by a one month exhibition at the Redhouse and a one day symposium, which ultimately was the beginning of this edited collection.
So, the fact that this history is now documented in an ‘official’ journal, is another step in the right direction of ensuring histories such as these are not forgotten. All of the histories covered in the special edition focus on musical histories that have been ‘lost’, so I am really grateful to Equinox for providing the publishing environment for this. The introduction is available to download for free here, and I am looking forward to speaking about it at at some conferences over the next few months.
At a time when Wales is in the middle of a government investigation into its live music industry, I think these case studies provide an interesting snapshot of what we can learn from looking at the past, before we look at the future.
To check out some of the images on Peoples Collection Wales, click here