Talking About Music

Course with Selection Process

Tutors: Kate Molleson & Peter Meanwell

Maximum number of participants: 16

Deadline for submission of applications: 15 March 2018


For people interested in talking and writing about new music, who

  • have a broad and thorough interest in music since 1945
  • enjoy the challenge of finding entertaining ways to articulate complex ideas
  • have already written and, ideally, published texts about new music
  • want to write or broadcast about music at a professional level
  • have an interest in the act of recording (even at an amateur level)
  • have an understanding of the general discourse around ‘music criticism’, ‘culture in the media’ and ‘music and language’ — and, just as important, have bold original ideas to bring to the table
  • be willing to be an active and committed part of a team working to create radio content as well as work individually writing texts

(Participants of the Darmstadt Summer Course 2018)


Workshop contents

  1. A hands-on course that questions dominant narratives in contemporary cultural discourse. How can we write and talk about new music in a way that is useful, vivid, profound and accessible? How do we make the best use of various media platforms to ensure that new music remains vibrant and relevant in the public imagination?
  2. How to report on the politics, sociology and industry ecosystem around new music as well as major genres, practitioners, current trends, new works and performances?
  3. What role does the writer and critic have within the new music community? How far do journalistic ethics cross over in to less formal platforms, such as social media? What role does editorial responsibility play?
  4. Interviews with composers, musicians, journalists and programmers.
  5. Participants will be expected to generate engaged, flexible, fresh-thinking content, from written reviews and essays to radio interviews and features.
  6. A peer-led process: Participants will get involved not only in the writing, talking and recording, but also in commissioning and editing the content they want to read/hear from their peers.
  7. Producing a daily radio show/podcast with all participants hosting, writing and editing interviews, discussions and reviews of the music at the 2018 Darmstadt Summer Course, with freedom to decide the editorial and content together.
  8. Focused writing periods looking at writing styles for different platforms — blogs, magazines, journals.
  9. Course Directors have professional experience in new music journalism and broadcasting for amongst others the BBC, Guardian, Wire Magazine, Opera.
  10. In previous years radio content produced by participants has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, and published in print formats.
  11. The course will be taught in English.

The selected participants of the workshop receive after the end of the application period a form by which the recognition of the project can be organized individually at the home university already in advance.