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DkIT Music Researchers Represent Institute at Esteemed Conference

18 May 2023

There was a strong representation of researchers from the Creative Arts Research Centre (CARC) at Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) for the Joint Society for Musicology Ireland (SMI) and International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM-IE) Postgraduate Conference hosted by University College Dublin last month. Three current postgraduate researchers in Music presented their work and Programme Director for the BA (Hons) Music, Dr Kayla Rush, was a panellist on the career’s forum.

Irish Research Council Scholars Leandro Pessina and Benedict Lamb O’Sullivan presented in a session on innovations in scholarship and creativity. Leandro, under the supervision of Dr Daithí Kearney and Dr Ioannis Tsioulakis (QUB), discussed the terms ‘authenticity’ and ‘quality’ as they are applied in his research on music and tourism in Louth. Benedict, under the supervision of Dr Claire Fitch, demonstrated how, through the availability of new, affordable, and modifiable technology, methods to enhance music performance and further creative gain have been used by creatives across all genres. By encouraging and developing autonomous practices, contemporary musicians can use technology to simplify and enhance their individualised methods.

TUTF scholarship holder Darren Culliney, under the supervision of Dr Daithí Kearney and Dr Verena Commins (University of Galway), presented on the four Ulster-born winners of the senior button accordion competition at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, examining the growing interest in the instrument in the province. He investigated the musical influences on each of the musicians, critically reflecting on factors that shape a local music ecosystem and their emergence as successful performers in the context of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.

Dr Kayla Rush participated in a career’s forum chaired by Ms Hannah Millington, Student Representative of the SMI Council. The panel also included Dr Aileen Dillane (University of Limerick), Dr Jack Talty (University College Cork) and Dr Orla Shannon (Dublin City University). Dr Tim Summers from the Department of Music, Gender Institute, and Centre for Audio-visual Research at Royal Holloway, University of London presented the Keynote Lecture. Dr Summers researches and teaches music in Western popular culture, most often dealing with music for film, television and video games. The recurring theme in this research is an attempt to understand the musical experiences and educations that mass media provide for the huge audiences they address.

Professor John O’Flynn (DCU), President of the Society for Musicology in Ireland noted the significance of 2023 as the twentieth anniversary year of the Society. Dr Adrian Scahill (Maynooth University), Chair of ICTM Ireland, noted that as well as including a rich selection of papers, the conference supports the broader postgraduate music community through holding a Careers Forum, as well as encouraging the next generation of music scholars through the inclusion of the prize-winners of the Council of Heads of Music in Higher Education (CHMHE) competition for undergraduate dissertations

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