Genealogies and Geographies of Experimental and Underground Music in China

On January 16, 2016, Stuart Grant from CTP, in cahoots with Dr Xin Gu and Professor Justin O’Connor from MFJ, staged a symposium at AM Gallery Space in Shanghai, China, on the histories, current situation and sustainability of China’s burgeoning experimental music scenes.

china symposium
Dr Stuart Grant (left) with symposium participants

Early in 2015, Stuart toured China with his band, The Primitive Calculators, and was struck by the exploding vibrancy of all forms of popular and contemporary music in China, but particularly by the commitment and adventure of the experimental musicians. However, the scenes are so geographically dispersed, so volatile and fleeting, that they disappear as fast as they emerge. Consequently, the histories are being lost.

This symposium, funded by a Faculty of Arts Project Seed Fund Grant, gathered together 30 musicians, venue owners, record company people, and others, to discuss the issues facing this unique and exciting performance culture. There was robust debate and a feeling of shared purpose, with all parties looking forward to the future development of this project. The next steps are an application to the Australia China Council for a touring collaborative festival between Chinese and Australian musicians, and an ARC application to further the research.

Watch this space for more details.

For further information contact Stuart

stuart.grant@monash.edu