Panel 6 - Workshop - What makes an ethnomusicological film? Audiovisual ethnomusicology, cinemusicology, and cine-ethnomusicology in the era of digital cinema - Michael MacDonald, MacEwan University
[ CHAIR: Michael MacDonald, MacEwan University ]
Screening an ethnographic or documentary film at an ethnomusicology conference is not an innovation; it has been a minor aspect of conference life for many years. What is new is that digital peer review platforms allow ethnomusicological films to take a more important place in the professional life of contemporary scholars and perhaps the communities they work with. Closely related to this, the emergence of digital cinema provides a terrain that increases our capacities to engage in public ethnomusicology. Digital disruption has impacted ethnomusicology in a positive sense, creating an opportunity to make relatively inexpensive digital films in ways not available to previous generations. This radical reduction in cost and expansion of nearly free dissemination allows for a wide range of methodological opportunities. It is not just a matter of making ethnomusicological films the way they have been made in the past, but in renewing or perhaps, exploring the potentialities and affordances made available by this period. The founding of the ICTM working group on audiovisual ethnomusicology, the publishing of Benjamin Harbert’s book on Cine-ethnomusicology, and the founding of the MusCan Film Series are three events that occurred independently of each other, have impacted each other, and perhaps can be seen as the emergence of an approach to ethnomusicology made possible by the era of digital cinema and the next phase of the digital humanities. In this workshop I will discuss aspects of this emergent subfield and will screen film excerpts to illustrate the methodological experiments that I am currently undertaking.