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Discussion Series and Workshops: Unsound LAB

Text by CLOT Magazine

Unsound recently announced a pre-festival Discussion Series and Workshops, Unsound LAB. The series, which started on 23rd July, aims to address the current crises the music industry and the world, in general, have faced in the last year. The pandemic has made live events either impossible, difficult or complex to produce safely. Simultaneously, BLM protests have brought to the fore the need for line-ups, rosters and teams to be more diverse and representative. 

How do we get through this crisis as an industry, and what kind of post-pandemic future might we build together? What should change? What should stay the same? What does community mean right now? Will we find a way to work together more closely, or will many inevitably fall by the wayside in a changing world? – the team behind Unsound ask themselves. Therefore, as part of Unsound 2020 activities, the team decided to start a programme to foster and nurture this so relevant discussions. The project is divided into open-access discussions and online workshops with limited admission. 

The first discussion in the open-access series was titled Black Techno Futures: Local and Global Perspectives and took place July 23rd (the recording can be watched from the unsound webpage). The talk was programmed and hosted by Frankie Decaiza Hutchinson from Discwoman and Brooklyn’s Dweller Festival. Including perspectives from different cities, the discussion explored the conditions of working as a black person in the industry, diving into challenges and how things need to change for black people to survive and flourish. 

Next in the series is Creative Practice in the Covid-19 Era, taking place on August 6. Moderated by Phillip Sherburne, contributing editor at Pitchfork, the conversation will again include Jlin, one of the unique electronic musicians of her generation – and UK producer and rapper GAIKA, Sote, a Tehran-based experimental musician, and Polish DJ and producer VTSS. These artists will address and discuss the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has brought for them and ways it may have helped them create.

How are artists responding to the crisis? How do they envision the pandemic affecting their and their peers’ work? How do they time new releases, and how do they feel about the possibilities of live streaming? What are they hopeful about? And how have the events arising from the Black Lives Matter movement offered an opportunity to address longstanding imbalances and inequalities related to Black musicians and other people of colour?

The discussion will be transmitted live on Facebook, YouTube and Twitch. Listeners can ask questions through live chat. 

The second half of the Unsound Lab project is an online 5-day program dedicated to working in the music industry, considering ways to try to exist and work in the pandemic and beyond. This will take place on 19-20 and 26-28 September 2020, with classes run by representatives of artist agencies, managers, promoters and curators, publishers, music journalists, lawyers, and representatives of cultural institutions. The call for applications lasts until August 21. The application form, the full list of speakers, and the schedule of discussions and workshops is available HERE.

(Media courtesy of Unsound)
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