Digital Folk Project Announced!

image of Simon Keegan-PhippsThe Digital Folk project is to be funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and will run for two years from September 2014 as a collaborative venture with Professor David Gauntlett (University of Westminster, Faculty of Media, Art and Design). The research will consider the ways in which folk arts participants make use of digital resources, tools and networks in order to learn, collaborate, reinterpret traditional material and create new work. It will explore their use of on-line platforms, home-made recordings, and archival resources such as the celebrated Full English archive (unveiled last year by Project Partner organisation the English Folk Dance and Song Society).

How do traditional musicians and dancers in England use such digital resources? How do they consider the use of modern digital tools and media in relation to the “traditional” nature of the material they perform? And what are the impacts of these tools on the performances and experiences of participants? The project team will address these questions by observing, talking to, and participating alongside musicians and dancers as they explore and experience folk in the digital world.

The project represents an exciting new collaboration between two scholars from very different disciplines: the project’s Principal Investigator, Simon Keegan-Phipps, is an ethnomusicologist with a background in research on English folk music and dance, while Co-Investigator David Gauntlett specialises in the study of online communities, digital technologies and their transformation of participants’ creative experiences.