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Ecology of Trust


A huge thankyou to Elisabeth Belgrano and Fredric Gunve for the Ecology of Trust meeting. I won’t call it a conference as it was unlike any conference I’ve ever attended – walking seminars on the rocks by the sea, provocative and compelling presentations by musicians, the complete uncertainty of what was going to happen next, but most of all the wonderfully generous and open minded spirit in which everything was conducted. I’ve never really enjoyed conference discussions on critical theory – in the UK they’re generally characterised by aggressive academic point-scoring and a delight in obfuscation. Here we had the complete opposite – searching discussions (largely focusing on the work of Karen Barad) between scholars – many from non-music arts disciplines – clever enough not to need to prove the point. It was a real treat. And on the final evening we had a Moroccan-inspired arena of simultaneous performances, complete with delicious food and mint tea. The event ended with the legendary David Medalla energetically lip-synching with Nikola Matisic


Since officially parting company with academia five years ago I’ve kept a (mostly) friendly eye on my old discipline, but I’ve now decided to give it a complete rest at least until my current performance projects have run their course over the next few years. Being here in Gothenburg was a great way to stop. There are some very exciting young minds in the field, and it’s their turn. With a pretty full performing calendar I just can’t keep up with the reading, apart from anything else. I’m flattered that people still invite me to conferences and so on, but for the foreseeable future I’m going to say no. I’m also touched that so many people seem to have read Vocal Authority, but guys it’s over fifteen years old now. Maybe in a few years’ time I’ll write a sequel.

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