Sound matters : incorporating music and (musical) memorabilia in queer oral history interviews
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
S.l. , 2014
Things to Remember : Materializing Memories in Art and Culture, Radboud University Nijmegen, June 5-6, 2014
University of Antwerp
In doing oral history interviews, narrators are often asked to bring photographs, diaries or other items, which remind them about certain events or phases in their lives. Music and its material deposits can be means to trigger memories about specific periods of time and life events. It seems natural, to ask narrators participating in an oral history project about the role of music in the identity-formation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ)-individuals, to bring along and talk about musical memorabilia such as cds, mixtapes, ipods, posters, merchandise, flyers and concert tickets, as well as diaries and photographs. It is vital not only to look at the life stories and narratives of the LGBTQ-individuals, but also listen to the music they talk about, understand the way they listen(ed) to it and grasp their affective relation with music in connection to certain key moments in their identity-formation. However, the incorporation of material and audible memorabilia into academic research is a challenging exercise, as these cannot be captured by written language only. The queer archive, as discussed by Cvetkovich (2003), Halberstam (2005), Love (2013), e.a., is a conceptual framework which provides the necessary space to incorporate memorabilia and explore their importance in triggering and retaining memories. The connections of memory work, musical and material memory triggers and how to preserve and represent these within the context of the queer research subject and approach, are the central topics of this paper.