Events

MIRN ANNOUNCES FIRST CONFERENCE:

The Life Cycle of Musical Instruments

details below

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Watch this space for upcoming events and reports of recent activities.

 

MIRN Conference DETAILS

Theme: The Life Cycle of Musical Instruments and MIRN’s first Q&A surgery

Date: Thursday, 12th October, 2017

Venue: Horniman Museum and Gardens, London, SE23 3PQ

Musical instruments can have curious and complex biographies! They often accumulate layers of wear, accretion, repair and modification, presenting challenges to all who come into contact with them.

This conference will explore the myriad ways that musical instruments have been adapted to extend their working lives, and the rationale behind such adaptations. What are the outcomes when new and old materials and past and present working practices meet? What values are relevant when we repair or change musical instruments, and how do we formulate an approach to accretions and interventions?

MIRN invites contributions from musicians, dealers, instrument makers/restorers, conservators, researchers and curators who have played on or worked with instruments that have undergone change, or who have themselves been agents in that change. Contributions may address general issues, relay a specific case history, or be a combination of both. Presentations may take the form of 5 minute (plus 5 minutes questions), 10 minute (plus five minutes questions) or 20 minute (plus 10 minutes questions) talks or talk/demonstrations. Panel discussions of 60 or 90 minutes, examining one issue or instrument from a variety of perspectives would also be welcome.

Following the presentations, MIRN will hold its first musical instrument Q&A surgery where members of the audience, who may bring (small) instruments or photographs with them, will be invited to pose questions to a panel of specialists. NB It will not be possible to accommodate questions regarding the valuation of individual instruments.

The conference day will be brought to a close with MIRN’s AGM to which all members are invited, followed by a social hour at a nearby pub.

Submit proposals by 5pm BST 10th June 2017 to enquiries@mirn.org.uk with the subject line: CONF2017.

Proposal submission guidelines:

  • For 5 minute presentations: not to exceed 250 words
  • For 10 minute presentations: not to exceed 300 words
  • For 20 minute presentations: not to exceed 400 words
  • For panel discussions of 60 minutes: 3-4 speakers, submit one proposal not exceeding 450 words.
  • For panel discussions of 90 minutes: 4-6 speakers, submit one proposal not exceeding 500 words.

All proposals must include the proposer’s name, address, email address and institutional affiliation (if any). Each must state clearly the type of presentation for which application is being made. All prospective panel members must be listed and their individual details included as above. All proposals must be submitted electronically as Microsoft or Microsoft-compatible WORD documents attached to an email. Acceptances will be notified by 1st July.

The conference registration fee will be £25 (MIRN members), £20 (MIRN members who are retired, students or unwaged) or £30 (non-members), to include all presentations, lunch, coffee, tea and a tour of the Horniman Music Gallery. Registration will open in July.

OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS

  • 1-4 June 2017. Conference on Musical Instruments sponsored jointly by the Galpin Society and AMIS (American Musical Instrument Society). Hosted by the University of Edinburgh at the newly refurbished St Cecilia’s Hall, location of Musical Instrument Museums, Edinburgh. Details.
  • 5-7 September 2017. WoodMusICK – 4th Annual Conference – Call for papers.  The fourth and final conference of the COST WoodMusICK action will be dedicated to the preservation of wooden musical instruments. The conservation of such instruments involves the preservation of tangible and intangible values. Conservators face various dilemmas in balancing the preservation of the current state of an instrument (conservation), with returning to its previous or original state (restoration) and/or making instruments functional again (repair). The conference will also address establishing criteria for the use of instruments (playability). Details.

REPORTS FROM PREVIOUS EVENTS

  • Several MIRN members attended the one-day workshop on ‘Music & Material Culture‘, held at the University of Cambridge on Wednesday, 7 December. Mimi Waitzman (Chair, MIRN) writes:

The one-day conference in Cambridge, billed as a ‘workshop’, on Music and Material Culture brought together an array of disparate topics that attempted to give shape, substance and meaning to the very broad theme. We learned of many ways that material manifestations of music and music-making extend beyond musical scores and instruments to furniture, buildings, scientific endeavour and even philosophies of exhibiting music and musical materials in museums. The different relationships that societies construct between music and the other arts were also explored. All-in-all, a stimulating day with many mind-opening discussions and presentations.

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Gabriele Rossi-Rognoni, Curator of Musical Instruments at the Royal College of Music, London, and MIRN member, giving a paper on ‘Defining “Old” vs. “New” Organologies’ at the workshop in Cambridge.
  • MIRN members Jenny Nex (Secretary) and Arnold Myers attended the Museums Association Conference in Glasgow on 7-9 November where they represented MIRN at  a stand dedicated to all Subject Specialist Networks (SSNs). Jenny writes:

Representatives of MIRN contributed to the presence of Subject Specialist Networks at the Museums Association Conference in Glasgow in November.  The trade fair area, which included representatives from a wide range of businesses and organisations which support museums, their staff and their users, was a busy space, particularly at break times.  Conference delegates were able to meet representatives from a number of the different networks and to find out more about us and what we offer.  It was important for MIRN to be visible here since many collections contain at least one musical instrument and most collections don’t have a musical instrument specialist.  It was also useful to meet representatives from other networks and to discuss ways which we could work across networks in the future.

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Jenny Nex representing MIRN, the UK’s Subject Specialist Network for Musical Instruments, at the Museums Association Conference in Glasgow in November. MIRN leaflets can be seen in front of her on the table.

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