Our first entry in the Conference Diary series is from Karen McAulay (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow):
Conference Diary: a Flying Visit
My congratulations to the organising team: their suggested hotels were not only close to the conservatoire, but mine even had a bus-stop for the Brussels airport express bus. Travel has never been so easy!
I only had a couple of nights in Antwerp, but when I look through my conference notes, I’m astonished that I managed to hear so many interesting papers in such a short time! Satisfying my urge to keep up to date with technology, I listened to a presentation about the neoScores app, then nodded fiercely as Pierre Delsaerdt assured us that “a heritage librarian should also be a library historian as well”. Well said, Pierre!
I heard about big data research – fascinating! – and about Sandra Tuppen’s work in aligning bibliographic data. RIPM excited the researcher in me to a degree that is surely not healthy, but I was brought back to earth by the physicality of the Musical Instruments Museum in Brussels, and a talk about the Erard, Pleyel & Gaveau Archives. Christopher Scobie’s ephemera talk was really interesting, and then came the carillons! My deepest regret is that I wasn’t in Antwerp long enough to join the visit to hear them in person.
Barbara Dobbs-Mackenzie’s update on RILM prompted me to do a bit of social media activity urging musicologists to submit their own abstracts. In response, I’ve been asked to write something for the next RMA newsletter, so that will hopefully contribute to the cause.
During my stay in Antwerp, I also gave my own presentation on the AHRC-funded musicology project (‘Bass Culture’), which I’m currently seconded to part-time. Trying to view it impartially, I would still have to say that we’re a good example of a collaboration between musicology and music librarianship, and I think I convinced my audience of that.
What other memories will I have of Antwerp? Chips in the sunshine, tasting Belgian beer, meeting old friends and making new ones, and dining in a Belgian Italian restaurant! My only regret is that I didn’t stay longer. The programme had so many more interesting things during the rest of the week. I may have to go back for the sightseeing element alone!