The Music Room
300 Word Statement for UK REF 2020 Submission
The output from this research is an ethnographic audio-visual recording of a performance by Cuban rumba group Los Munequitos de Matanzas set in a tenement yard in their home town, Matanzas, Cuba. The recording is in a low-tech immersive format comprising four video recordings projected to create a ‘room’ (one for each side of a square) and eight tracks of related audio content (one stereo mix for each ‘wall’ of the ‘room’). The recording is accompanied by a set of supporting materials: interviews with participants, a ‘making of’ video, collection of photographs, videos, audio recordings and written notes documenting the process.
The capture took place in November 2017 and has been displayed at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford in May 2018 and EartH, Hackney in May 2019. The research has been disseminated at numerous conferences and lecture presentations including Berklee College of Music, Boston, Huddersfield University, Instituto C ubano de Antropología, Havana, Bath Spa University and London Southbank University.
This multi-component submission contains extracts of the above and a set of video presentations. In these the research question and sub-questions are explored and the context of the research explained. In the Research Narrative video I reflect upon the decisions made in the re-configuration of technology with a focus on the end user. I then discuss how ethnographic considerations input into the design and development of the research project. I detail the new knowledge that this project brings both in the uses of technology and in the relationships between participants, ethnographers and end users.
In addition, I am running a project at the University of West London where student-led recordings using this format are carried out from the planning stage through to display. This will add to the body of research into the viability of this format for pedagogical applications.