Report included in the most recent IMR news letter


INTERCONNECTIONS - the first postgraduate conference for the Institute of Musical Research - took place in Bangor (Wales) from May 6-7, 2011 and was organized by IMR’s student representatives Elina G. Hamilton (Bangor University) and Mats K├╝ssner (King’s College, London). Aiming to foster an interdisciplinary exchange between academics at the beginning of their professional careers, INTERCONNECTIONS included twelve engaging and stimulating papers by postgraduates from disciplines within music psychology, acoustics, music analysis, historical musicology, ethnomusicology, performance practice and studio composition. Hosted by the School of Music at Bangor University, the first two sessions of Day 1 - Science and Performance- were followed by John Irving’s fascinating and largely autobiographical keynote lecture on ‘Pleasures and Pitfalls of Recording on an Eighteenth-Century Harpsichord’. Lively discussions were continued over dinner before a visit to a local pub offered the possibility to debate one’s research in an informal setting. This put into practice INTERCONNECTIONS' philosophy to understand and broaden each other’s methods and motivations for music research. The second day included a parallel session spanning History and Culture and was followed by a paper session on Composition. After lunch, a second invited speaker, Daniel M├╝llensiefen, presented his workshop ‘Modelling Memory for Music - a classroom experiment’ which was an enjoyable, interactive and demanding session, offering insights into the construction of algorithms for well-known tunes. During the final discussion it became clear how refreshing it is to see and hear other postgraduate research projects - if only to take a break from one’s own research activities. Living in a time when expertise ought to be highly specialized but simultaneously interdisciplinary, it is important to think ‘outside the box’, and, having received a highly positive feedback from the delegates, we are convinced that INTERCONNECTIONS provided a useful setting for doing so.

Elina Hamilton & Mats Kussner