REPORT: Radio Jazz Research Jazz and Film Meeting in Kiel, Germany

Dr Willem Strank of the Kieler Gesellschaft für Filmmusikforschung
listening, as he presents a paper on Thelonious Monk

Sebastian writes: 

The Radio Jazz Research group hosts two meetings each year, at which papers are presented by academics and industry participants on various aspects of jazz. Its proceedings are mainly in German. The group’s most recent 29th meeting was held on March 31st and April 1st in the North German port city of Kiel, where the group was the guest of the Kiel Society for Film Music Research (Kieler Gesellschaft für Filmmusikforschung), a cross-disciplinary group of researchers, based at the Christian-Albrechts University in Kiel.

At this meeting six papers were presented:

Claus Tieber (Salzburg University) – Jazz und Film – ein weites Feld

Willem Strank (Kiel University) – Straight, no chaser – Thelonious Monk im Film

Thomas Mau (WDR3, Deutschlandfunk) – Die Suche nach der Wahrheit – Jazz im Dokumentarfilm

Selwyn Harris (journalist/ Jazz on Film Records) – Jazz in the Cinema of the Nouvelle Vague: A Kind of New

Wolfgang Fuhrmann (Zurich University) – Imperial Projections – Screening the German Colonies 

Nicolas Pillai (Birmingham City University/ Warwick University)  – Jazz Film as Provocation

COMMENT: The RJR provides a fruitful meeting point for people from different disciplines and backgrounds to gain an insight into each others professional practice, so the prevailing climate is one of respectful listening. It is also an occasion where chance meetings lead to new initiatives. To name just one of many, the original link between UK’s NYJO and Germany’s BuJazzo, who now work a lot together,  was originally made at the RJR meetingin Rheinsberg in 2012. (Original write-up)

One of the most interesting themes running through this conference, and which was there right from the start, in Willem Strank’s first paper…is an omni-present two-way pull: the need to call on familiar stereotypes once narratives have found their way onto the screen is always in opposition to the imperative to make the film representation in some way faithful to the subject. Mythification is everywhere in jazz and in film, and it has consequences. With bio-pics of both Miles Davis and Chet Baker being released this year, the RJR meeting in Kiel was timely.

The UK contingent at dinner in Kiel: Selwyn Harris, Nic Pillai
and Oliver Weindling (RJR Board Member)

Kieler Gesellschaft für Filmmusikforschung
Radio Jazz Research

Categories: miscellaneous

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