TaPRA 2024 Sound, Voice and Music working group

Deadline: Wednesday 10 April 2024

Resistance, reflection and regrouping through sound, voice, music

In 2023, the Sound, Voice and Music working group explored encounter as a mode of knowing and engaging with ourselves, each other, and the material/immaterial worlds. In 2024, we extend the encounter and keep looking outwards, acknowledging the enormous upheavals going on across our planet. Humans continue to extract and plunder natural resources, engage in violent conflict, deepen economic inequalities and ideological differences. Our seemingly limitless new technologies are apparently threatening to alter or erase current forms, practices and understandings of selfhood, creativity and agency.

In such times, we ask how sound, voice and music operate as practices of radical resistance, reflection, and regrouping. 

In her book, Music Asylums (2013), Tia DeNora argues that people use singing and music as a technology to ‘remove’ themselves from or ‘refurnish’ (4) the space around them (2013: 4). She emphasizes the playful and agentic capacities of music as a means to keep the world at bay or reorganize it into a more amenable place. Lynne Kendrick reminds us how noise of many kinds can ‘be a deliberate strategy for transformation, both political and aesthetic’ (2017: 110). Actions of protest have historically used song, chanting, choral voices and instruments as important tools of communication. Technologies of music and sound can extend or alter human capacities in ways that are inclusive and accessible to all. Forms such as digital music, podcasts, sound art and audio drama can be harnessed by individuals and communities who are sidelined or silenced (Vachon and Woodland, 2023). Salome Voegelin has offered the idea of hearing a ‘sonic possible life-world’ that entices us to come to know differently (2014: 33).Indigenous understandings of sound practices suggest a deep and direct sensory exchange. The Aboriginal practice of Dadirri enables connection and calling between communities, entities and flows (Miriam Rose Ungunmerr et al 2022). This cyclical process of listening and contemplation implies richer understandings and the potential to change.

In the working group this year, we will explore the ways that sonic, vocal and musical practices have offered and continue to suggest resistant or alternative understandings of selfhood, orientations to each other as people, and to the non-human world. 

Submissions are invited on, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Sound, voice, music as strategies or tactics of resistance, reflection, regrouping
  • Pedagogies of resistance in sound, voice, music
  • Sound, voice and music in contexts of conflict or protest
  • Care and healing through sound, voice, music
  • Sonic and musical spaces of resistance
  • Resisting normative identities through sound, voice, music
  • Indigenous understandings and practices
  • Shifting understandings of selfhood and subjectivity
  • Cultural and institutional audibility – who is heard? 
  • Listening as a reorganising ethical and political practice
  • How could vocal technologies reorganise politics and ideologies?

Please note that Karen and Maggie will be stepping down as convenors this year, and welcome expressions of interest in the role. Additionally, if you are a PGR student and would like to play a role this year (2024) in co-convening our programme, please get in touch.

Conference structure
Northumbria University will host the TaPRA 2024 annual conference in central Newcastle-upon-Tyne (UK) as a hybrid event from 4 to 6 September 2024. We welcome online and in-person delegates.

Process for submitting a proposal
Please email a submission with the following elements by midnight on 10 April 2024 to the Working Group convenors at soundvoicemusic@tapra.org:

  • 300-word max abstract
  • 100-word max biography
  • Confirmation on whether you plan to attend online or in person
  • Any specific requirements relating to space or AV technology

Please note: You may only submit a proposal to one working group (or to the TaPRA Gallery) for this conference, proposals submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

TaPRA will inform you whether or not your proposal has been accepted in mid-May 2024. Registration will also be open from mid-May 2024, which will ask for accessibility and dietary requirements. A draft schedule will be ready by the end of June 2023. Registration will close on 1 August 2024. Accommodation options in central Newcastle with special rates will be available to all delegates.

Conference costs
There are two main delegate types (standard and concession, definition below) and all fees include one-year TaPRA membership of £35 (standard) or £17 (concession). Early bird rates only apply to in-person full conference fees.

In-person fees: (early bird/late bird)

  • Full conference fee: £250/£300 (standard) and £180/£230 (concession)
  • Day rate: £130 (standard) and £100 (concession)
  • WG Convenors and Exec: £198 (standard) and £17 (concession)
  • Life members: £163

Online fees:

  • Full conference fee: £110 (standard) and £90 (concession)
  • WG Convenors and Exec: £108 (standard) and £17 (concession)
  • Life members: £73

A day rate is not available for online delegates.

Concession definition
Concession rates apply to all students, postgraduate researchers (MA or PhD), unwaged, unaffiliated, and retired researchers, and staff on contracts of either less than 0.6FTE or else fixed for less than 12 months. These categories apply to the delegate’s circumstances on the first day of the conference.

Each Working Group manages a bursary to cover the fee and some expenses, offered on a competitive basis. Preference will be given to those without access to any institutional funds. This process is open to accepted presenters only and will be managed by the Working Group convenors post-confirmation of acceptance.

Please note: only one proposal may be submitted for a TaPRA event. It is not permitted to submit multiple proposals or submit the same proposal to several Calls for Participation. All presenters must be TaPRA members, i.e. registered for the event; this includes presentations given by Skype or other media broadcast even where the presenter may not physically attend the event venue.

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