As you may well know, next week the first Rhythm Changes Conference ‘Jazz and National Identities’ takes place in Amsterdam. There will be jazz performances, keynote speakers, panel presentations, and the usual stuff that takes place at academic conferences – especially those academic conferences that happen to be about jazz.
But this conference will be Dubberised.
Don’t look it up. The verb ‘to Dubberise’ does not, to our knowledge, appear in any dictionaries. But it’s a word that has become common parlance among the members of the Rhythm Changes project.
I’m Andrew Dubber – Reader in Music Industries Innovation at Birmingham City University – and as someone who specialises in music in the digital age, I’ve spent a lot of my energy and effort capturing and mediating (particularly music) events online.
As part of the Rhythm Changes project, for instance, I worked with the Kitchen Orchestra in Norway to bring their (rather challenging) improvisational performance and collaboration with Japanese visual artists to a wider audience in a more interactive fashion.
Using blogging, social media, photography, audio and especially digital video, I capture and publish the things that are happening – not in a formal ‘broadcasting’ sense, but in what I like to think of as a more ad-hoc, conversational, vernacular, and digitally-native manner.
I think that it’s possible to give a real sense of what it’s like to go to an event if you capture the conversations, the people and the ‘flavour’ rather
than simply attempt to mediate what goes on on the stage, in a televisual way. And so that’s the approach I take.
As a result, whenever my fellow Rhythm Changes colleagues get out their Flip camera, or post a snapshot to our Posterous site, they say they’re ‘Dubberising’ whatever it is they’re at.
And that too, essentially, is what I’ll also be doing at the Rhythm Changes conference, and in the few days leading up to it.
I’ll be posting interviews, snippets of rehearsal and performance, video and photographs of the city and venue… you’ll get to meet some of the delegates, hear about their research and put faces to names – as well as get a real sense of the conference itself and the local performers who will also be involved.
You can follow the story as it happens here on the Rhythm Changes website – or follow us on Twitter. Don’t forget to say hi when you do – and we’d be very grateful if you’d use the hashtag #rhythmchanges if you’re posting about the conference.
Of course, even though I am ‘Dubber’ (and hardly anyone ever uses my first name, so that’s actually what I’m called), I certainly won’t be the only one ‘Dubberising’. With any luck, the whole Rhythm Changes team will be getting involved. In fact, you should feel free to get involved as well.
If you take any videos, photographs or have anything to contribute to our digital mediation of the conference, please send me a link to wherever it’s hosted – on Flickr, YouTube, your own blog – or even just send me the files and let me deal with them.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Look forward to meeting you and, with your permission, Dubberising you, your research and your experience of the conference.