Ageing and Contemporary Female Musicians

Gardner, Abigail S ORCID: 0000-0003-2994-741X (2017) Ageing and Contemporary Female Musicians. In: Troubling Time, an Exploration of Temporality in the Arts, June 1 - 2 2017, University of Manchester. (Unpublished)

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Age matters, but the matter of age; its materiality, configuration, articulation and representation, are complex. Taking this as axiomatic, this paper investigates the issue of women and ageing across popular music. Looking at women across the life span, it queries age as a temporal category. Pulling together a diverse set of literary and musical interventions it suggests that the early part of the 21st Century is a contradictory space for women across popular music, where female experience is both valorised and marginalised. It works with the notion that age is not always dependent on chronology. This means that ‘age’, youth, middle and old, can appear in bodies that are not chronologically young, middle-aged or old. Age can be understood as a vocal texture that emerges, it can be reconsidered as a material quality; it can be a reference to a subcultural moment that has been defined as youthful. This approach allows age to be framed as connected to temporality through materiality, sonic texture and historical alliance, and as both disarticulated from and redolent of the body. This innovative approach uses age as a contested space from which and within which to consider fresh angles on women, ageing and popular music. My contention is that there is a broader shift around conceptualising temporality (Keightley, 2012; Cubitt, 2017) and that this upsets ageing as a linear process whilst continuing to cement youth as an ideal. In short, temporality’s certainties are being confounded whilst youth remains the touchstone against which older women are mapped.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Creative Practice and Theory
Culture, Continuity, and Transformation
Depositing User: Abigail Gardner
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2017 14:21
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2023 19:28

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