Music as intimacy. Variations on music as urban place. Francisco Cruces (UNED, Spain)
Music has proved to be “good to think” the metropolitan space. Its chronotopical qualities can be followed largely in the uses of the musical metaphor by prominent authors (like Becker, Holbwachs, Finnegan, the very George Simmel) who looked to grasp in musical terms the urban experience -or, as the Chicago School would rather put it, “urbanism as a way of life”. The theoretical question which “Music as place” arises is then that of the many variants through which musical life on the one hand, and the built space of the city on the other, could be mutually related –an issue both of musical and urban imagination, as well of one of empirical import. In my speech I will elaborate on this theme. Assuming in advance that Sara Cohen’s monography (and subsequent work) has provided a powerful master narrative on the topic, I would like to explore to which degree Liverpool and Madrid might be, or not, considered as variants of a different kind on this “common theme”. More specifically, I will focus on the intimate, domestic and private spheres as crucial loci of metropolitan musical life. These are not always underlined, but deserve close attention: not matching the conventional, dominant images of “the city” as built public space, in these invisible realms the uses and meanings of music are also strongly produced and negotiated. They reveal simultaneously the ongoing centrality of the “tuning-in” (face to face) relationship, as well as deep changes in the urban common sense emerging in late modern Cosmopolis.
[JB note – with apologies to Francisco for not blogging the full presentation – my typing hands are experiencing fatigue/discomfort by now. However, the presentation was extremely engaging, especially in the context of the Liverpool presentation immediately before and the parallels he drew. If he publishes his work I will provide a link in this post at a later date.]