Friday, January 2, 2009

Welcome to the jungle!

Ha! That's on tv right now - I have been trying to get to posting on my blog for a while now tonight. But I first got distracted by a show on VH1 about the 100 greatest rock songs. Then I made a list of people that I still have left to interview here in Detroit - some of whom have agreed to talk with me but have yet to find a time to meet, and a few of whom I still need to contact. Then I made a list of a few last minute things I need to do before completing this research in February!! Fingers crossed that I can make that deadline. Then I got busy on Facebook...

Anyway, I had quite an eventful holiday season. My husband and brother put together turntables and a mixer for me!!! I am so excited to have my own setup at home. The tables and mixer used to belong to my brother, Gregory Dalphond, who is a DJ in Chicago. One of them is wooden and belt driven and was his first turntable back in 1996!! I'm very excited to have a belt driven turntable - now I can be really authentic! No, kidding, kidding - but it is cool to experience learning on something like an old turntable like a lot of DJs that I interview first learned on. The other table is a Technics and a Technics mixer. They gave me nice needles too. I'm very excited - and to spin on my very own tables...Moodymann "Det.riot". His latest release - it's fraking fabulous.

I've been thinking recently about some things that have come up in interviews or in casual conversations with friends here about my being here doing this research. I have heard confusion about why I am here, why I would move here to study this. Others have even commented, not to my face, about my racial and ethinc integrity - "Does she think she's Black?" or "Is she trying to be Black?" First of all, I have to laugh when I hear those things - have you seen me, have you heard me talk?? I'm a white nerd from Indiana who likes electronic music and appreciates the African American culture from which this music is created in Detroit. It's important enough to me that I chose to move my family to Detroit so that I could complete this research and write my dissertation on Detroit electronic music. This is what ethnomusciologists do - once you complete all your coursework, complete your master's degree, pass your Ph.D. qualifying exams, and get your dissertation proposal approved, then you begin some version of an intesive research project that lasts for an extensive amount of time. My version of this type of research was to relocate to Detroit and spend a year learning about electronic music in Detroit by interviewing people involved in this music and culture here, by attending lots of shows and parties, and by closely studying the performance and production of this music. So I'm not just some crazy white chic who uprooted her family to move to Detroit because I love Black people so much and want to be Black. I have a strong interest in African American history and culture and love Detroit electronic music - so coming here and doing this makes perfect sense to me. It's important enough to make an academic career out of it.

So, I'm tired now, I'm still white, and I am looking foward to extracting video from Terrence Parker's set on New Year's Eve two nights ago!! Yes, I got to video tape his entire set! It was very cool. So Happy New Year and Good Night.


cz said...

are you keeping a running bilbiography of the research materials you're using? i imagine you are. i'd really love to see it.

WhoDat said...

Welcome 2 tha D, grasshopper.

Lisa said...

this was a great read..... i can't wait to talk to you about some of this stuff in person. :)

Anonymous said...

I imagine you are. i'd really love to see it..

Thank you..
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