Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

FUAIM Research Seminars Spring 2017

John O'Flynn Dublin City University: Film Music as Musicology and as Ethnomusicology: Examples from Irish-themed and Irish-produced Film

In this research seminar I will explore interrelated ideas of film music as musicology and as ethnomusicology with reference to examples from Irish-themed and/or Irish-produced film from the 1930s to date. My focus will mainly be on music in audio-visual production while also making reference to other aspects of sound design. The seminar relates to research I am carrying out for a book on the overall theme of music, the moving image and Ireland. Robert Marshall (1997) coined the term ‘film musicology’ when contemplating Milos Forman’s Amadeus (1984) in light of a plethora of Hollywood- and European-produced historical dramas loosely based on biographies of composers and their music. I adapt this term in respect of Irish-themed and/or Irish-produced film to consider the ways in which histories of Irish music come to be constructed and construed in film, whether through a dialectical interplay of dominant colonial and national perspectives, through ‘third cinema’s’ interruptions and critiques of such hegemonic representations, or through post-national celebrations of musical culture. This extends beyond historical and political considerations of soundtrack to include filmic representations of music as it is lived, practiced and heard, and also takes into account Mark Slobin’s (2008) proposal that potentially, ‘every film is ethnographic, and every soundtrack acts like an ethnomusicologist’.

Soundtracks of Irish-themed and/or Irish-produced films referred to in this seminar will include The Informer (Ford, 1935), Riders to the Sea (Hurst, 1935), Darby O’Gill and the Little People (Stevenson, 1958), Mise Éire (Morrison, 1959), Rocky Road to Dublin (Lennon, 1968), Barry Lyndon (Kubrick, 1975), The Dead (Ford, 1987), The Enigma of Frank Ryan (Bell, 2013) and Sing Street (Carney, 2016). John O'Flynn is Senior Lecturer in Music at Dublin City University and director of the MA in Music programme there. Between 1999-2008 he was lecturer in music at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, and from 2008-2016 he was Head of the Music Department of St Patrick's College, DCU. He was recipient of research fellowships from The Irish Research Council (2008), An Foras Feasa (2011) and St Patrick's College (2015). A Council Member of the Society for Musicology in Ireland, he is also founding chair of the Society for Music Education in Ireland, and has served on the Council of Heads of Music in Higher Education from 2008 to date.

Category: Public Lectures and Seminars: Arts Celtic Studies and Social Sciences
Time: 11am-1pm
Target Audience: All Welcome
Admission Price: € Free
Contact: Christine Dennehy

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