MIC conference summary

Even if you didn’t attend MIC’s very successful "Music Information Beyond Politics, Market, and Media" conference in late May, you now have a chance to catch up with the main conclusions from the lectures.

Music Information beyond politics, market and media - brosjyre header

We admit that we’re a bit biased, but we dare to say it anyway: the Bergen MIC conference in late May was a success. The lectures given were strong and spirited, the debate was lively and enlightening and even the notorious Bergen weather was co-operative.

Kate Augestad, Assistant Professor at the Department of Information Science and Media Studies at the University of Bergen sums up two days of lectures and debate: “If we are to maintain a cultural diversity, we need wild ideas and collaboration across the boundaries of professions and borders.”

The conference was opened by State Secretary from the Ministry of Culture, Yngve Slettholm. Said Slettholm in his opening speech: “Music is often characterised by being international by nature. Historically, composers and performers have operated in an international field under constant impact of impulses from different parts of the world. Today globalisation is making the music scene even more dynamic and vital. However, in a global market, it is crucial to make an effort to disseminate and promote the qualities of art. Continuous input of knowledge is required to meet the new challenges and take advantage of the new possibilities in a cultural sector characterised by fundamental and rapid changes. The conference program presents the opportunity to share knowledge, experience and expertise. I want to express my wishes that the conference will also strengthen international collaboration and networking.”

Conference lectures on the web
Below you’ll find links to some of the lectures given at “Music Information Beyond Politics, Market, and Media” in Bergen 27-28 May 2004.

Yngve Slettholm: “Cultural Policy in a Globalised World”

“Cultural Policy in a Globalised World” was the title of State Secretary from the Ministry of Culture, Yngve Slettholm’s lecture at MIC’s Bergen conference. Said Slettholm: “Music has always been characterised by international cooperation and exchange across borders. This has no doubt contributed to the vitality that we see in Norwegian music today. During the last decades, new trends and a strong professional community have resulted in a broad range of new ensembles and new arenas. This development is both a condition for and a result of the fact that Norwegian operators are active on the international music scene.” On the issue of diversification on the global stage, Slettholm stated: “Our goal is to promote the diversity of voices, both internationally and in every single country.”

Read State Secretary Yngve Slettholm’s entire speech here.

Jostein Gripsrud: "Music in the public sphere"

One of the highlights of MIC’s Bergen conference in late May was undoubtedly Professor Jostein Gripsrud’s fascinating talk on the subject of “Music in the pubic sphere”. Says Gripsrud: “…speaking about music in the public sphere- in whatever sense of the term – is to speak of its role in democratic societies, in direct or highly indirect relation to politically relevant processes. I thing music in certain ways can be used as an indicator of the overall health condition of the public sphere and thus of democracy.”

Read Professor Jostein Gripsrud's "Music in the public sphere" here.

Pia Raug: “The destiny of Music and Arts in the hands of politics: Rights and Wrongs.”

Pia Raug, Danish composer, singer and President of CIAM (Conseil International des Auteurs et Compositeurs de Musique) represented another view on the arts and politics. The title of Raug’s lecture was “The destiny of Music and Arts in the hands of politics: Rights and Wrongs.” Said Raug in her lecture that was characterised by strong opinions and a will to challenge the market forces: “We are in the middle of a "War of the Worlds" - a global war - and it is not just a science fiction story any longer. It is a war about who is going to conquer the supreme power over the destiny of humanity and the future of this planet.”

Read the entire Raug lecture here.

Reiner Moritz:The Temptations of Being Culturally Correct.”

Reiner Moritz, Director of Poorhouse International, discussed “The Temptations of Being Culturally Correct.” Said Moritz in his lecture: “Music is too valuable and important to be left out. It quite clearly enhances social competence and provides lots of other advantages for a modern society. In that sense it is in the long term even quite economic and probably provides a better shareholder value then most of the other public works. Is it a question of time for our politicians to understand this, or do we need another revolution? We must do away with the hypocracy, the intellectual corruption, the fascination with violence, the addiction to power and endless conformism as well as the craving for so called correctness which is typical for too many of our intellectuals. We need action now, and unfortunately only a government is capable of implementing such dramatic reforms as are necessary, before some other wise politician thinks of outsourcing education like so many other duties which we believe a government must continue to assume.

Read Reiner Moritz entire Bergen lecture here.

Making a Difference: Public Service Broadcasting and the Arts

Edward Blakeman Editor of Live Music at BBC Radio 3 in London and Executive Producer of the BBC Proms, laid out a number of answers to the question raised to him as the theme of his talk: “How do we make the cultural discourse of music audible for the larger audience?” Read on to learn more on Blakeman’s view on the role of the public broadcaster in today’s media picture.

Read Edward Blakeman's talk here.

Bendik Hofset:“The Art of Sustainability in National Music Industries”

Bendik Hofset, renowned sax player and Chairman of NOPA – Norwegian Society of Composers and Lyricists – discussed “The Art of Sustainability in National Music Industries”. Hofset maintained that equal access to music across the borders is imperative in order to secure cultural diversity. Said Hofset in his lecture: “In 2001, US core copyright industries revenue amounted to USD 10 billion. The Norwegian equivalent number was only 1,8 million. Bi-lateral agreements can affect this unbalanced situation.”

Key points from Hofset’s lecture are found here.

Dan Lundberg: "Music and cultural diversity in Market and Media"

At MIC's Bergen conference, Dan Lundberg, Director of the Centre for Swedish Folk-music and Jazz research and professor of Music and Cultural diversity at Gävle University discussed the state of music and the state of cultural diversity in market and media.

Read Lundberg’s lecture here.

Stef Coninx: "European Music Navigator presentation"

Stef Coninx, Director of the Flanders Music Centre presented a guide to the IAMIC (International Association of Music Information Networks) search engine European Music Navigator.

Check out Coninx' presentation here.

More lectures will be available at www.mic.no/conference as the authors forward the manuscripts to us.

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