Book launch: Introducing Global Popular Music: Made in Spain.
Franco Fabbri (Università di Torino, Italy), Goffredo Plastino (Newcastle University, UK), Silvia Martínez (Escola Superior de Musica de Catalunya, Spain), Héctor Fouce (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain), Martha Ulhôa (UNIRIO, Brazil)
Franco introduced the book by describing its origins; it was originally conceived as a number of essays on Italian popular music from different perspectives, written by Italian scholars in English for international readers. Discussions then moved into consideration of the possibility of looking at local popular musics all over the world. So this book is in fact the first in a series; the first book about Spain will be followed in the autumn by one on Italy, followed later by Brazil and Japan. Each 16-chapter book will conclude with a long-form interview with a notable artist/practitioner who has a long artistic history in the country in question, and internationally.
Each book in the series will be accompanied by a website, with pages that will contain musical examples that could not easily be included in physical form. At the start of the process they had a ‘dream’ that record companies might donate tracks gratis. It was of course not supported, but the web page approach is a powerful compromise that does, as Franco says, allow readers to engage with some of the audio that the book cites.
Franco then introduced the editors, Silvia and Héctor. Silvia told the story of how IASPM Spain got started in the 1990s, and celebrated the fact that IASPM 2013 represents the first Spanish-hosted international conference. Héctor talked about how the book was written and its structure, contextualising the work geographically (there is a dominance of Catalonia in some sections) and historically (much of its content is sited within the transition to democracy). He says the book has mostly succeeded, even being written during a recession, in avoiding pessimism about the future of popular music in Spain. The enthusiasm of Héctor, Silvia and Franco on display today gives me no doubt that they will have succeeded.
The supporting web pages for the book will be accessible at GlobalPopularMusic.net