Place, Politics, and Cultural Exchange:
Indigenous-Settler Collaboration in Canadian Art Music
May 28, 2017
Canadian Music Centre, Toronto
We are pleased to announce an upcoming seminar of the Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Music in Canada Research Group (IPMC), held in conjunction with MusCan, Congress, and Canada’s 150th anniversary. As a combined venture between the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, the Institute for Canadian Music, and the Canadian Music Centre, this seminar grows out of a three-year SSHRC Partnership Development Grant (Mary Ingraham, Dylan Robinson, Robin Elliott; see http://creativecollaboration.ca) which played a part in the production or study of three works with three different collaborative teams across Canada. Following on those projects, this year’s theme, Place, Politics, and Cultural Exchange: Indigenous-Settler Collaboration in Canadian Art Music, explores the social efficacy of cross-cultural creative partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous sonic practitioners in the wake of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s “Calls to Action.” Scholars like Glen Coulthard and Dylan Robinson have been critical of discourses of “reconciliation” and “recognition,” and David Garneau recently warned that settlers eager to be Indigenous allies “must be cautious not to replace a Truth and Reconciliation model or models of quality framed by standards of colonialism and whiteness” (Garneau 2016). Developing these critiques and concerns from a musicological perspective, we propose that it is important to consider collaboration not purely as a model of social harmony, but as an opportunity for productive critique of Indigenous-settler methods and epistemologies—that is, to consider musicological and art musical methods of “conciliation” rather than reconciliation (Garneau).