Research Team Activities

This project studies intercultural music collaboration, and is rooted on inter-institutional academic cooperation. Dr. Mary Ingraham (Alberta) worked with both Dr. Robin Elliot (Toronto) and Dr. Dylan Robinson (Queen’s) to build a multi-year research program that would build a better understanding of collaboration between indigenous and non-indigenous communities through case studies in Canada. Each case study has had its own graduate research assistant: Brianna Wells (Alberta), Jeremy Strachan (Toronto), and Patrick Nickleson (Toronto). Early stages of research were also assisted by Jeffrey Arsenault and Caitlyn Triebel (Alberta); undergraduate research assistance was provided by Alyssa Kim and Jessica Rogers (Alberta).

From 2012-13, research assistants conducted a survey with a variety of artists and arts organizations  across Canada and in 2012 provided the research team with a bibliography of resources in cross-cultural collaboration and indigenous scholarship as an interdisciplinary starting point for case research.

From 2013-15, investigators and research assistants undertook mixed methods research including direct participation, observation of rehearsals and workshops, and interviews with artistic partners and participation in the First People’s Cultural Council forum on cultural protocols (E’nowkin Centre, Penticton).

The team presented our findings at the annual MUSCAN meeting in Ottawa in June 2015. Research assistants Jeremy Strachan and Patrick Nickleson (Toronto) have begun work on a call for papers in support of an edition of collected essays responding to key research questions:

  • Are aesthetically innovative values of contemporary art music composition at odds with progressive social efficacy?
  • How might ‘difficult music’ – music that is dissonant or challenging to listen to – work in partnership with social and political causes?

MusCan Round Table Proposal

The following proposal, titled “Social Efficacies of Art Music in Canada: Exploring Collaborative Processes“, was presented at the 2015 MusCan Round Table discussion held at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada.

View the Proposal