Category: Publications

Brand new edition of Anthropocosmic Theatre published in print and open access

Brand new edition of Anthropocosmic Theatre published in print and open access

It has been a long wait for the beautiful new edition of Anthropocosmic Theatre. First published in 1996, this 2nd edition is updated, with new chapters and translated content.

Available in a beautiful printed copy, or as an open access download, we are excited to announce the launch of this stunning creative and collaborative work.

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We caught up with Deborah Middleton, one of the editors and contributors for the book, to find out what makes this new edition so significant.

How to sum up more than forty-five years of daring adventure in the fields of theatre research and creativity? That was the challenge that faced me as I set about editing a new expanded edition of Anthropocosmic Theatre by the Mexican director, Nicolás Núñez.  The original version of the book, which I had edited way back in 1996 (my first ever foray into academic publishing) reported on Núñez’s development of an approach to theatre that emphasises its ritual and sacred orgins. Núñez and his collaborators had undertaken an extraordinary journey encompassing contact with a wide range of theatre and ritual sources: Tibetan Buddhists in exile in India; Peruvian and Huichol shamans; NASA scientists in Arizona; Strasberg, the father of Method acting, in New York, and Grotowski, the ‘holy theatre’ visionary, in the forests of Poland and the mountains of Mexico.  Now, 20-plus years on, my colleague, Franc Chamberlain, had come up with the idea that we should create a new edition of the book with a second section covering the period from 1996 to 2018. And those years were just as full and intrepid as the early ones had been.

The challenge of the project was in deciding how best to represent the body of work that had flowered from those beginnings – which projects to favour, which inquiries to explore, which adventures to relate.  Inevitably, the book can only be a partial glimpse into a lifelong dedication that has generated a very unique view, and a highly developed practice that has touched multiple lives.  In the end, I chose to focus primarily on ‘the dynamics’ – Núñez’s intensive performer training processes which represent an important contribution to understandings of meditation and energy in actor-training. Shorter case-studies and commentaries give the reader a sense of just a few of the participatory theatre productions. New, and newly translated, writings by Núñez are combined with chapters by other writers, and – in keeping with the original book – a series of short personal reflections by participants.   Once again, we glimpse the extraordinary projects through which Núñez has researched and shared his vision: an overnight performance on each full moon of the year 2000 at the pyramids of Teotihuacan; a 40-day pilgrimage on the pre-Christian route that is now the Camino de Santiago de Compostela;  a creative residency in an indigenous jungle village on the edges of the Darién rainforest in Panama.

This is in part an academic book, but it is also very much a manifesto and a series of testimonials: a manifesto for a theatre of depth, integrity, and sacrality; testimonials to powerful, even life-changing, experiences in the training studio, and in the forests and other spaces where Núnez’s theatre productions take place.  It is a book which is designed to spark the imagination, to evoke an aspirational sense of the power of theatre, and to remind us all of the great cosmic context within which our lives and our art-forms unfold.

We are looking forward to an exciting launch event for the book, to be held at the University of Huddersfield on 30th October.

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What role does ambient music have in society and in musical culture? A new book explores how the genre has developed over the last 40 years

What role does ambient music have in society and in musical culture? A new book explores how the genre has developed over the last 40 years

Today sees the release of a brand new book looking at how the genre of ambient music has developed over the last 40 years.

Music Beyond Airports: Appraising Ambient Music

Contributions by: Monty Adkins, Axel Berndt, Lisa Colton, Simon Cummings, Ambrose Field, Ulf Holbrook, Justin Morey, Richard Talbot, David Toop

ISBN10-13 eBook: 1862181616 Print: 9781862181618

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This collection of essays has been assembled and developed from papers given at the Ambient@40 International Conference held in February 2018 at the University of Huddersfield. The original premise of the conference was not merely to celebrate Eno’s work and the landmark release of Music for Airports in 1978, but to consider the development of the genre, how it has permeated our wider musical culture, and what the role of such music is today given the societal changes that have occurred since the release of that album.

In the context of the conference, ambient was considered from the perspectives of aesthetic, influence, appropriation, process, strategy and activity. A detailed consideration of each of these topics could fill many volumes. With that in mind, this book does not seek to provide an in-depth analysis of each of these topics or a comprehensive history of the last 40 years of ambient music. Rather it provides a series of provocations, observations and reflections that each open up seams for further discussion. As such, this book should be read as a starting point for future research, one that seeks to critically interrogate the very meaning of ‘ambient’, how it creates its effect, and how the genre can remain vital and relevant in twenty-first century music-making.

Chapter list

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER 1 – David Toop

How Much World Do You Want? Ambient Listening And Its Questions

CHAPTER 2 – Ambrose Field

Space In The Ambience: Is Ambient Music Socially Relevant?

CHAPTER 3 – Ulf Holbrook

A Question Of Background: Sites Of Listening

CHAPTER 4 – Richard Talbot

Three Manifestations Of Spatiality In Ambient Music

CHAPTER 5 – Simon Cummings

The Steady State Theory: Recalibrating The Quiddity Of Ambient Music

CHAPTER 6 – Monty Adkins

Fragility, Noise, And Atmosphere In Ambient Music

CHAPTER 7 – Lisa Colton

Channelling The Ecstasy Of Hildegard Von Bingen: “O Euchari” Remixed

CHAPTER 8 – Justin Morey

Ambient House: “Little Fluffy Clouds” And The Sampler As Time Machine

CHAPTER 9 – Axel Berndt

Adaptive Game Scoring With Ambient Music

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Fields journal: opportunities for Huddersfield students to get published

Fields journal: opportunities for Huddersfield students to get published

Are you an undergraduate student who is interested in submitting your work to a professional research journal? Fields: journal of Huddersfield student research is a yearly publication, which showcases outstanding research from all seven schools within the university. Submissions can be in the form of a journal article or even a collection of poetry, music scores, photographs or a case study. To take part, get in touch with your dissertation/project tutor, or visit the Fields website to contact a member of the editorial team to see how you could be published in this year’s edition.

Benefits of getting published:

  • Raise the profile of your work and get interest and feedback from other academics and professionals.
  • Gain experience of the publishing process and a professional publication to enhance your CV.
  • Benefit from the support of a professional team through a writing retreat and drop in advice session.
  • Receive a £400 bursary upon submission of your final article.

How to get involved

Once you have contacted a member of our editorial team, or your tutor, they will put you in touch with the publishing team to find out about the submission, review and publishing process.

Publishing in Fields is a fantastic opportunity to take your studies and degree to the next level, the Fields journal is an accredited, well-respected publication, that encourages its authors to aspire to more –check out our blog posts from previous Fields authors to find out what they thought of the opportunity.

 

 

 

New issue of the Journal of Performance and Mindfulness

New issue of the Journal of Performance and Mindfulness

The new issue of our popular journal Performance and Mindfulness has arrived! The new issue focuses on the importance of spirituality within dramatic performance and asks for its readers to re-think individual meditation. It considers how meditation and Buddhist practices are important in the execution of the dramatic arts.

This issue is a fantastic read for those who are keen performers interested in physicality and mindfulness, but it may also spark interest in those who are keen to broaden their horizons within their own perspectives of spirituality. The articles cover all corners of performance art, including;

Performance and Mindfulness includes original work from researchers at the University of Huddersfield, but also from academics across the globe. Read on to discover a wide range of perspectives on what spirituality within performance means to the individual, and how it manifests and expresses itself within other cultures and the independent performer.

Volume 2 Issue 1 of Perfomance and Mindfulness

New issue of Teaching in Lifelong Learning

New issue of Teaching in Lifelong Learning

Volume 8 Issue 2 of Teaching in Lifelong Learning is out now.

This issue of TiLL is somewhat different from previous ones in that it is a special edition publishing four papers by project teams who were involved in The Education & Training Foundation’s (ETF) funded Outstanding Teaching Learning and Assessment (OTLA) Phase 3 programme in the north-east and Cumbria. I had the privilege of being the evaluator for the programme and very early on I offered to publish papers in a special edition of TiLL, and I am delighted that five of the project teams accepted my invitation and submitted their papers for review.

David Powell, Editor of Teaching in Lifelong Learning

New book! Soundings: documentary film and the listening experience

New book! Soundings: documentary film and the listening experience

We are delighted today to announce the publication of our newest book, a beautifully written collection edited by Geoffrey Cox and John Corner:

Soundings: documentary film and the listening experience

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It has been a privilege to work with Geoffrey and John on this fascinating collection of essays, and we asked them to put a few words together about their research and the driving force behind the book.

Geoffrey Cox and John Corner explore the arts of sound, investigating the richness of what we hear as well as what we see in non-fiction films.

We all recognise that sound is important to documentary films, without it we would often have no idea of what we were looking at or of its significance. What is far less recognised is the often complex ways in which our listening becomes interlinked with our viewing so as to generate feelings and ideas well beyond those carried simply in ‘what is said’. This is partly a matter of how documentary producers work to let us hear the world as well as see it, a world of noises, natural, and mechanical and of patterns and textures of speech going well beyond the literal content of commentary or interview. The sonic dimension involves a range of technological and aesthetic creativity in the production process right through from initial recording through to final editing. Often, it importantly involves the use of music in ways which we might be encouraged to register but which will often work powerfully in the background, shaping the kinds of knowledge and pleasure we get from a film without our being consciously aware of it.

A huge range of non-fiction film uses sounds in this way to guide and supplement our visual experience and fill it with feeling. The longstanding practices of film, television and now web advertising show a range of sound designs importantly at work, so too do the even more longstanding techniques of film propaganda. However, many documentary and video makers, rather than reinforce the delivery of a narrow message, have wanted to use the possibilities of different sounds to enrich, make more complex and perhaps even challenge, the sense of reality ‘coming through’.

In our work, drawing on international contributors including film-makers and composers as well as academics, we ask questions about how sounds are recorded and assembled in documentary production, about the variety of the ways in which they work when listened to and about their contribution to making this area of visual culture an important culture of sounds too. Our belief is that further critical attention here goes beyond the expanding area of documentary scholarship and connects with a broader understanding of the contemporary media arts.

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Our author James Mendelsohn discusses the banning of Hezbollah

Our author James Mendelsohn discusses the banning of Hezbollah

Hezbollah in its entirety must be banned by the UK government – here’s why

James Mendelsohn, University of Huddersfield

Earlier this year, a billboard in Luton, England, had to be taken down after it was vandalised with graffiti. The poster was advertising an al-Quds Day rally. This anti-Israel, anti-American event originated in Iran and has spread to numerous other countries. In the UK, the annual London rally regularly features the parading of the Hezbollah flag. This is especially controversial, prompting calls for a change in the law.

Hezbollah – from the original Arabic term meaning “Party of God”, which can also be transliterated as “Hizbullah” or “Hizballah” – is an Iranian-backed Shiite militia group that was established in the early 1980s. It was initially formed to drive foreign forces out of Lebanon and its bombing of French and American bases in Beirut in 1983 claimed 299 lives. Hezbollah is hostile towards Israel and supports President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war.

Hezbollah’s emblem features a stylised assault rifle and its forces have adopted the “Hitler salute”. In 2002, Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, said that if all the world’s Jews were to gather in Israel, this would make it easier to kill them in a “final and decisive battle”.

The organisation has a track record of global criminal activity, with a particular emphasis on terror attacks – not only against Israelis, but also against Jewish targets worldwide.

However, Hezbollah has also participated in Lebanese elections since 1992. It holds government positions and provides social welfare. For this reason Hezbollah is not completely “proscribed” or banned under current UK law. Instead the government has banned the “military wing” of Hezbollah only, but not the “political wing”.

Banning terrorist groups

The Terrorism Act 2000 gives the Home Secretary power to proscribe an organisation if it is “concerned in terrorism”. Hezbollah’s “military wing” has been proscribed since 2008. But its other “wings” – its MPs, government ministers and social welfare activities – are not.

The Terrorism Act makes it an offence for a person, in a public place, to wear an item of clothing, or to carry or display a flag “in such a way or in such circumstances as to arouse reasonable suspicion that he is a member or supporter of a proscribed organisation”. In 2004, a man was convicted of this offence after passing through a Scottish port wearing a ring which prominently displayed the initials “UVF”. This had caused police to believe he was a member or supporter of the proscribed Ulster Volunteer Force, a loyalist paramilitary group.

Scenes at al-Quds March in London 2016.
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The consequences of the distinction between Hezbollah’s military and non-military wings were seen at last year’s al-Quds Day rally where, as in previous years, Hezbollah flags and other articles were paraded through central London. Yet no one was arrested – even though all of Hezbollah’s wings share the same emblem.

More than just a flag

Some of the emblem-bearers – perhaps encouraged by the rally’s organisers in order to avoid trouble – even affixed stickers expressing support for the “political wing”. Yet they also chanted: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” This is generally understood to be a call for the military destruction of the state of Israel. This would suggest that the marchers were not supporting only Hezbollah’s “political wing”, but its “military wing” also.

Hezbollah flags fly at al-Quds Day march in London.
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Distinctions drawn between Hezbollah’s “military” and “political” wings are unpersuasive. The entire organisation is banned in some countries including the US, Canada, the Netherlands and Israel.

The UK government has justified taking a different approach by reference to the historical distinction between the IRA and Sinn Féin. Yet Hezbollah itself repeatedly rejects any such notion. An early Hezbollah document stated:

Our military apparatus is not separate from our overall social fabric. Each of us is a fighting soldier.

In 2000, deputy secretary general of Hezbollah, Sheikh Naim Qassem said:

Hezbollah has one single leadership…It manages the political activity, the jihad activity, the cultural and the social activities…we have one leadership, with one administration.

In 2002, Muhammad Fannish of Hezbollah’s political bureau said:

No differentiation is to be made between the military wing and the political wing of Hezbollah.

In 2013, Hezbollah’s political affairs official, Ammar Moussawi, said:

Everyone is aware of the fact that Hezbollah is one body…Its military and political wings are unified.

In 2013, Hassan Nasrallah said:

However, jokingly I will say – though I disagree on such separation or division – that I suggest that our ministers in the upcoming Lebanese government be from the military wing of Hezbollah!

Such statements cast serious doubt upon the distinction between the “military” and “political” wings maintained in UK law. It makes no sense to proscribe only the former but not the latter, when Hezbollah’s own representatives insist that there is no real division between the two.

The ConversationSince last year’s al-Quds Day March, there have been calls from both Conservative and Labour figures for Hezbollah to be proscribed in its entirety. In January this year, MPs passed a motion calling for the home secretary to do just that. And it is hoped that Amber Rudd will now do so.

James Mendelsohn, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Huddersfield

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.