Two New Texts avec Backstory + New Rhythm for Villeray

by Jonathan Sterne on June 4, 2012

Two new texts on the casseroles appear today:

1. Quebec’s #casseroles: on participation, percussion and protest. This was the piece that got me started writing about all this stuff — as in, “I have to write something and this has such an obvious sonic angle.” I emailed Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman, as I’d admired the Sound Studies Blog from a distance for some time (and if you’re interested in sound studies, I strongly recommend following it and/or contributing). It struck me as the perfect venue because of its combination of topic and temporality, and also because they already have a thread on sound and protest–see here and here. Jenny expressed interest, and I got to work. I read everything I could on rough music and charivari. I emailed a bunch of friends for background. I consulted with my friend Nick Dew, who does early modern French history. He put me in touch with Natalie Zemon-Davis, who I originally intended just to interview for the piece. But in talking we realized that we could do an op-ed. So that’s how that happened. This is the longer consideration I’d originally intended to produce, made better by Jenny’s editing and the beautiful layout. She also deserves a ton of credit for going out and finding someone to translate the piece so it would appear in English and French at the same time. Really forward-thinking and cool. I’ll be participating again in the Sound Studies Blog as a commenter shortly, and I hope to find other ways to be involved going forward.

2. Bodies-Streets. You should read the whole issue: Out of the Mouths of ‘Casseroles': textes qui bougent au rhythme du carré rouge. Last week, Kim Sawchuk, Owen Chapman and Jeremy Stolow emailed a bunch of people to put together a “lightning quick” publication on the strike and protests. I’d have to say for academic productions, this is probably the fastest I’ve even been involved with apart from blogging, and the result is also beautiful.

There’s always more to say about the protests, but I think now it’s time for me to be quiet on the subject and move on to some other writing (colour television history, the intersection of cultural studies, media studies and technology studies, and the mobility of music are on deck before I get to Europe later this month–oh yes, and syllabi).

In this space I’ll continue shorter comments on Quebec happenings, and maybe some stuff on music and/or MUTEK as well.

Last night’s protest was a little smaller, but we were still big enough to take the intersection. Exhausted from other stuff, I didn’t join the march, but the rhythm in this video was what we were playing. It was great to come out and be part of a new groove.

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