Making Music in Bankstown: Responding to Place Through Song


  • Toby Martin University of Huddersfield


Songwriting, Place, Intercultural


Two songs — “Dreams In German” and “Olive Tree”— are presented here as an attempt to explore how composition, arrangement, and recording of popular music can respond to a specific place, in this case, the Sydney suburb of Bankstown. Through lyrics, song structures, instrumentation, and recording, these songs try to capture the sounds and stories of a multicultural, multiphonic urban area in the twenty-first century. The accompanying short essay contextualizes these compositions. It outlines the research aims and methodologies used in trying to achieve this. It also places the research within scholarship on popular music and place, and intercultural music collaborations. Its conclusions are that listening is important in responding to place and that music and song has a special role to play in a response to place.



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