A collaborative conference between the Reid School of Music at the University of Edinburgh and the National Museum of Scotland, to be held at the Museum on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 July, 2014.

Featuring two roundtables with invited speakers:

Collecting, Listening, and Thingness 

Kyle Devine (City University), Marion Leonard (University of Liverpool), Frederick Moehn (King’s College London), Jenny Nex (University of Edinburgh), and Laura Tunbridge (University of Manchester). To be chaired by Simon Frith (University of Edinburgh).

Collectors in Conversation

Gary and Gillian Atkinson (owners of Document Records), Stephen ‘Pastel’ McRobbie (The Pastels, Monorail Music), and Peter Shepheard (Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland). To be chaired by Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen (University of Edinburgh).

For a collector, ownership is the most intimate relationship that one can have to objects. Not that they come alive in him; it is he who lives in them (Walter Benjamin)

He could listen to any music he liked. He had Romanian folk songs, American westerns, American jazz, Grieg, Beethoven, Gershwin, Zez Confrey, Brahms, Schubert, Irving Berlin, Where the River Shannon’s Flowing, Ave Maria, Vesti La Giubba, Caruso, Rachmaninoff, Vernon Dalhart, Kreisler, Al Jolson. It was all there, in the records, himself in the music … the phonograph was pretty much himself. He had gotten into the machine and come out of it, singing, or being a symphony, or a wild jazz composition (William Saroyan)

All of them herbaria of artificial life that are present in the smallest space and ready to conjure up every recollection that would otherwise be mercilessly shredded between the haste and humdrum of private life (Theodor Adorno)

Ownership gathers things momentarily to a point by locating them in the owner, halting endless dissemination, effecting an identity (Marilyn Strathern)