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Fringe and Underground Music Group

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Fringe pop event poster

The Fringe and Underground Music Group was set up in 2016 by Lisa Busby, Stephen Graham and John Harries. It is based in the Music Department at Goldsmiths and runs themed events in relaxed and inclusive settings that bring together creative practice in and academic research on fringe and underground music.

Fringe and Underground Music Group is supported by a Goldsmiths public engagement grant and by the Popular Music Research Unit.

Past Events

Vicky Langan shows and discusses her work

13 March 2017, RHB 155, EMS

This concert featured the sound and film artist Vicky Langan.

Vicky showed and discussed her work in RHB 155, which is located on the ground floor of the Richard Hoggart Building in Goldsmiths, in the Electronic Music Studios.

Entry was free and open to the public.

[De][Re] Constructing Pop Territories

9 November 2016, RHB 167

[De][Re] Constructing Pop Territories was a seminar and concert that examines blurring lines between experimental and popular musics

It combined live musical performance, discussion and academic papers in an examination of the cross-fertilizing lines of influence between various experimental and popular musics, which muddy boundaries in fruitful and often perplexing ways.

We kicked things off with an hour long discussion featuring scholars Rachel McCarthy and Adam Harper, and then moved on to performances and artist talks from Olan Monk, Jacob Samuel and Lisa Busby & Gabriel Bohm Calles.

Fringe and Underground Musics Group is supported by a Goldsmiths public engagement grant and by the Popular Music Research Unit.

Fringes, Outsides and Undergrounds: The aesthetics and politics of unpopular music

9 May 2016, Richard Hoggart Building and Students’ Union.

Musical forms such as noise, extreme metal, performance art, experimental techno, free improv and more take inspiration from both popular and art traditions without being fully identifiable with either.

These forms exist either on the fringes of, or outside, commercial and cultural mainstreams, both in conventional musical centres such as London and Berlin and further afield, in South America, Japan and China.

This one-day conference and concert included 18 scholars and researchers presenting papers on themes emerging from these fringe, underground musical practices.

The conference also included an evening concert in the Student’s Union at Goldsmiths, which featured Sharon Gal, Marlo Eggplant, Celine Dior, Rose Dagul, Sly and the Family Drone and DunningWebsterUnderwood.

Schedule: 

0945-1015: Registration and Introduction (RHB 137a)

1015-1145: Parallel Sessions 1&2

Session 1: AUDIENCES AND NETWORKS, Chair: Stephen Graham (RHB 137a)

Susan Fitzpatrick/Stuart Arnot (York St John): In happy dissensus: The audience of the No Audience Underground

Chris Anderton (Southampton Solent): Sonic archaeology: curation, cultural memory, and fan labour

Safa Canalp (Humboldt-Universität): Towards a Theory of Subcultural Transfer in Un-Popular Music Studies

Session 2: NOISE, CONCEPTS, PRACTICES, Chair: Lauren Redhead, Canterbury (RHB 137)

Véra Vidal: The Boston underground network

Ariane Gruet-Pelchat (Université Laval): Noise as self-subversion

Stan Erraught (Bucks New University): Unpopular or Nonpopular?

1200-1330: Parallel Sessions 3&4

Session 3: FRINGE AND UNDERGROUND POP MUSICS, Chair: Lisa Busby, Goldsmiths (RHB 137a)

Christopher Haworth (University of Leeds): Mapping Underground Musics: from Microsound to Vaporwave

Adam Harper (University of Oxford): Unpopular pop? The roles of pop in underground musics

Rachel McCarthy (Royal Holloway): Pop or pastiche: Underground music and the failure of postmodern satire

Session 4: IMPROVISATION AND ITS CONTEXTS, Chair: James Bulley, Goldsmiths (RHB 137)

Alexander Hunter (Australian National University): Musical Anarchy in the Academy: Using free improvisation to deconstruct musical hierarchies

Thomas William Smith (University of New South Wales): Performing The Generic

Artur Vidal (Crisap, UAL): Hélène Smith's 'vocal utopias' and Derek Bailey's non-idiomatic improvisation: locating Free Improvisation within the history of modernity.

1445-1615: Parallel Sessions 5&6

Session 5: EXTREME METAL, Chair: John Harries (RHB 137a)

Keith Kahn-Harris: On the fringe of the fringe: metal's ‘outsider artists’

Joseph O’Connell (Cardiff University): ‘Suffer Louder’: the cultural politics of the American metalcore canon

Owen Coggins (Open University): Drone Metal Minimalism

Session 6: THE POLITICS OF FRINGE CLASSICAL MUSIC (6), Chair: Silvia Rosani, Goldsmiths (RHB 137)

Lauren Redhead (Canterbury): ‘The Reason Why I am Unable to Live in my own Country as a Composer is a Political One’: the Politics of Self-Alienation in the Music of Chris Newman

Alexi Vellianitis (University of Oxford): Like a ‘North Korean gymnastic displays without the totalitarian ideology’: Youth Disobedience and Civil Unrest in Anna Meredith’s 'HandsFree'

Andy Ingamells (Birmingham Conservatoire): Grandchildren of Experimental Music

1630-1700: Closing Remarks, Book Launch and Wine Reception (RHB 137a)

1800-2100: Concert (Student’s Union)