Local Goldsmiths’ PhD student and musician, Emma Winston, is currently collecting information from the ukulele community for her research into the instrument, surrounding how people perceive it and their participation in uke groups. The results will eventually form part of her doctoral research.
Players and non-players are invited to take this short survey. Emma is also at the stage where anyone keen to talk ukuleles with her further is welcome to email her. She is conducting informal interviews – more just general fact-finding chats than a huge list of questions – which can be face-to-face, over the phone, by Skype, email or whatever suits you best!
Extract and photo from an recent interview on The Setup:
I’m Emma Winston, and I’m a PhD student, musician, teaching assistant, sound artist, and botmaker.
I’m in my first year of an MPhil/PhD at Goldsmiths, University of London, where I’m studying the contemporary subculture surrounding the ukulele and the people who play it, particularly as that relates to identity and creativity. I’m still in the very early days of research, but it’s an instrument marked out by beginner-friendliness, a DIY aesthetic and real passion for what is often seen as a novelty or joke instrument (despite quite a long and rich multicultural history). In the last few years it’s increasingly become bound up in narratives of gentrification, twee middle-class aesthetics and hipster culture; yet it was also the only instrument recorded to have sold more, not less, during the depths of the UK economic recession, and has formed the centre of community activity for everything from mass world record attempts to music therapy groups for Alzheimers. It’s a fascinating instrument, largely because the ways in which people use it are fascinating, and if you’re reading this and have any particular interest in (or hatred of!) it please do get in touch, since I’m currently at the ‘talk-to-as-many-interesting-people-as-possible’ stage of research.
Survey : http://ukulelesare.xyz/
Emma’s email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Various PLUC members have past & present connections with Goldsmiths, so we’re pleased to mention this interesting project on our website.
Goldsmiths, University of London, is one of the UK’s leading universities for the creative arts, from film and art to popular music. Notable musicians who studied there include Damon Alban, Katy B, James Blake, Graham Coxon, Neil Innes, Alex James, Rosie Lowe, Andrew Poppy, Adrian Sutton, Errollyn Wallen MBE & Amelia Warner (aka Slow Moving Millie). Regular & varied music performances, talks and festivals take place during the year, most of them open to the public & many completely free, ranging from classical to contemporary, electronic to pop, featuring established performers, recent graduates & students.