Business News Education & Events Gigs & Festivals

Topics confirmed for CMU-hosted conversations at M.I.A.’s Meltdown

By | Published on Tuesday 30 May 2017

The topics have been confirmed for the three conversations CMU will host at M.I.A.’s Meltdown festival at Southbank Centre, London next month.

Under the banner ‘Where Next For Music?’, CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke will lead three discussions delving into topics selected by M.I.A. herself, which together explore the process and business of making music in the digital age.

Taking place in the Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall on the first weekend of this year’s Meltdown – Saturday 10 Jun – admission is free and open to all on the day.

The first discussion at 1pm is called ‘The Power Of Sound’. Music can instigate a wide range of emotions, but what is it about the science of sound that makes that possible? What draws us to certain combinations of sounds, to certain harmonies? How much is innate and how much is cultural? And how can music affect human behaviour? We will consider the power of sound from a creative, commercial and political perspective. How can music be used to communicate, to affect how someone consumes, or even as a tool of torture?

The second discussion at 2.30pm is called ‘The Political Artist In The Social Media Age’. In a period of increasingly polarised politics, should artists seek to be more political? And if so, how? Through their songwriting, videos and alliances, or by simply speaking out? Can musicians really change public opinion? Can political activity impact on an artists’ own brands, in a positive or negative way? And do the digital platforms that give artists a direct channel to their fans help or hinder? We will consider the political influence of artists, the challenges of the echo chamber, and the power of the platform owners.

And the final discussion is called ‘Music & The Machines’. The industry is increasingly relying on big data and AI technologies to dissect and classify songs and recordings, to power recommendation services on the streaming platforms and music identification systems like Shazam and YouTube’s Content ID. But how do these technologies work? What do they tell us about music and the way we consume it? And can the machines use what they learn to become the music makers of the future? We will analyse how the leading technologies work, and what they tell us about music and music-making.

Details of who will be joining each of these conversations will be announced soon. For information on everything else taking place during M.I.A.’s Meltdown festival, click here.