On Tuesday 7 October, I will be presenting at the International Association of Music Information Centres conference in Ksiaz, near Wroclaw.
The paper takes on board my work at the British Music Collection, and looks at traditions in music from the last 60 or so years. Here’s the abstract…
‘The isle is full of noises’: musical traditions in Britain from the 1960s to the present day
As Composer-in-Residence at the British Music Collection (the UK’s Music Information Centre), I am in a unique position to discuss themes of twentieth century and contemporary British music, with access to thousands of scores and recordings. This paper will explore a number of strands of musical thinking evident in the Collection, examining how British music has developed in many directions over the last 50 years. It will consider what part Britain’s disconnection from mainland Europe has played in the various routes music in the UK has taken in recent decades. Since the music of the towering figures the early twentieth century (Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Britten) multiple traditions have emerged. Some have a direct lineage to these forebears; others are related more to European music, yet they all share a degree of ‘Britishness’. With examples from the BMC I will ask the question, ‘what makes this music British?’, and examine the rich variety of styles to be seen in British music of the twentieth century and from composers working here today.