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RMA Sonic Makers’ Study Group
Tuesday 13th March 2018
11am-6pm, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester

This is a call for interest and involvement in a new RMA Study Group and its first event, to plan and develop creative research projects.

Makers create ‘something’ out of ‘stuff’. A ‘sonic maker’ can be thus understood as one who makes ‘something’ out of sound. A deliberately broadly-defined term that relies heavily on self-identification, examples of sonic makers could include (but is by no means limited to) composers, sonic artists, song-writers, instrument-builders, improvisers, and producers.

The distinction between composing and ‘making’ follows recent trends in anthropology (e.g. Ingold 2013), technology (e.g. Tanenbaum 2013), and education, (e.g. Halverson and Sheridan 2014), which emphasise learning-through-doing in a social environment, what Gregory Bateson describes as a process of ‘deutero-learning’, where knowledge-of-and-about-making arises from the doing of making itself (Bateson 1973).

In music, this allows the research question to probe the activities which exist in the spaces beyond and between more conventional descriptions of composerly process/technique; which are often post-hoc rationalisations that elide wrong turns, serendipities, and even fabrications! In essence, such an emphasis on making articulates a subtle but important change of focus, from the technical ‘toolbox’ of a given composer to understandings of the process of making itself.

Formed by a group of six composers at the RMA Annual Conference 2017, the new RMA Sonic Makers’ Group seeks to bring together artists/researchers/artist-researchers interested in this area of work to further understanding of notions of making in music/sonic art through collaborative projects and further study. The group welcomes expressions of interest in its first event, a network development and project-planning day at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Participants will be invited to present a 2-minute position statement, introducing their practice’s relationship with concepts of ‘making’, and then participate in group discussions regarding the group’s strategic goals and endeavours for the coming year.

To book your free place, or to register an interest in the group's activities, please complete the online form (below) or email Matthew Sergeant (m.sergeant@bathspa.ac.uk). Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Limited travel bursaries may be available to non-institutionally affiliated persons or research students wishing to be involved. For more information, please contact (m.sergeant@bathspa.ac.uk).

Deadline for registration: Monday 19th February 2018


Name *
Freelance artists, research students (etc) are obviously welcomed on an equal basis
Please indicate whether you are registering a general interest in the group's activity or booking a place on the network day.