CFP: Music and Sound at Work @ LCCT 2015

I am curating a stream in the 2015 London Conference in Critical Thought, titled ‘Music and Sound at Work’.

London Conference in Critical Thought
University College London, 26-27 June 2015
Click here for the full Call For Papers.
Deadline for submission: Monday 16 March

The attempt is to draw together scholarly conversations happening across a diverse set of disciplines on the relation between music/sound and work.

I’m particularly interested in how this kind of focus might draw together the political-economic and socio-psychological angles here (as opposed to artistic process, creative value, etc) and I’m convinced of the possibility for some really interesting collisions and collaborations to emerge out of this.

The conference is particularly aimed at emerging (PhD/ECR) academics. This is my third year of involvement with the LCCT, in various capacities, and it always proves a genuinely exciting space to foster interesting new ideas. I would encourage anyone to read through the whole document as all the streams look fascinating.

There’s an extract from my stream below and a good deal of indicative reading (with links!) here.

The stream has come out of two earlier blogposts on the subject [#musicatwork 1 / #musicatwork 2] which may give a more readable idea of the context and provoke ideas.

@tgpb85 / #musicatwork

@londoncritical / #lcct2015 /


This stream seeks to provoke discussion around ways in which music and sound could be considered ‘at work’.This construction has two distinct but overlapping and complementary senses.

  1. The acoustic ecology of the world of work: encompassing instances in which workers have soundtracked their labour; or used music to comment on working conditions.
  2. Sound and music that has been put to work: emphasising the exploitation of aural properties for specific social, economic or (bio)political ends (to drive the labour of consumption, for example).

The intention here is to move the focus away from artistry and so-called ‘creative labour’, towards the technics of affect regulation as critical mechanisms of contemporary cultural and libidinal capitalism.

The stream aims to bring critical perspectives from across disciplines into conversation, and may consider themes such as:

  • Office, factory and domestic work soundscapes (background noise, muzak, daytime radio…)
  • Work songs in oral traditions
  • Songs which comment on work and labour conditions
  • Singing, humming and whistling while you work (oral techniques of self-regulation)
  • Sound design and ‘ubiquitous listening’ in leisure and retail environments
  • Company songs and corporate anthems
  • Hold music and incidental white-collar sounds
  • Branded music, jingles, audio logos, trademarked sounds and aural promotional culture
  • Sonic weaponry and the military-entertainment complex

Please send submissions to:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s