I Cannot Sing You Here, But For Songs of Where : Contemporary Alt-folksong and Articulations of Place.

Lamb, Johny ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7654-1004 (2014) I Cannot Sing You Here, But For Songs of Where : Contemporary Alt-folksong and Articulations of Place. Doctoral thesis, University of the Arts London, Falmouth University.

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Abstract / Summary

This practice-based research questions the potential defining characteristics and status of contemporary alt-folksong and its role(s) in the articulation of place through a collection of twelve original songs with accompanying written research. The thesis relates the term ‘place’ to the notion of subjectivity, autobiography and the performance of identity as they relate to geographic experience (Tuan 1997; Agnew 2005). Place is addressed from the perspective of a subject both re-and dis-located, and as such, diasporic neurosis concerning home and authenticity leads to a focus on aspects of place related to my past (Shetland), heritage (Ireland), present (Cornwall), and ‘in between’ (Augé1995). Methodologically, songs respond to, and inform, written/read/listened research, with a ‘diarist’ mode of writing linking audio and text. Songs are generated through engagement with these research methods, and through field trips and recordings, influencing the directions of page-based enquiry. Early chapters draw on theories of Popular Music (Moore 1993; Eisenberg 2005) and Postmodernism (Jameson 1998), but also look to ethnomusicology of Folksong (Gammon 2008; Boyes 1993), and interviews with practitioners (Hayman 2011; Collyer 2010), characterising the relationship between traditional music and contemporary Alt-folk. Chapter 2 introduces psychoanalytic theory (Lacan 1977; Minsky 1998) in locating the three places within development of the subject. Each place is subsequently addressed respectively through appropriation of Lacan’s Imaginary, Symbolic and Real as a means of investigating the subject’s relationship to each. Chapter 3 discusses autobiographic theory (Marcus 1994; Anderson 2001), assessing the value of such a songwriting method, and aspects of musical ‘meaning’ (Small 1998; Moore 1993). Chapter 4 investigates the use of production/recording technologies as themselves sources of meaning (Doyle 2005; Barthes 2000).Conclusions, in songs and text, work towards articulation of the ‘outside’ nature of the itinerant in these aspects of (non)place, and the capacity of Alt-folksong to voice this state.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Place (Philosophy) in music. Folk songs.
Subjects: Music
Philosophy & Psychology
Depositing User: Lucy Seale
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2021 11:51
Last Modified: 21 May 2024 08:26
URI: https://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/3220


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