Monday, January 25, 2010
Here I Come, Oh Ye Berlin Schoolers
Alright, so here we go with some Media Studies craziness. This weekend was Berlin School weekend. I spent almost 4 hours interviewing Mike Metlay about the early days of the Berlin School and the cassette cultuer that it bred. Then I pounded the Big Four Tangerine Dream CD's (Phaedra, Rubycon, Ricochet and Stratosfear) while programming step sequencers in Max for Live. More of the same today (except I was programming cellblock changes) - all in the name of science.
Social science, that is.
I'm in the process of writing up a mini-thesis about the Berlin School music fans that developed their own music, tradition, authenticity signifiers and communities as an alternative to typical "niche community" studies. I've found that most studies of niche culture either considers the group a bunch of pathological nitwits or a quaint but unsophisticated grouping ripe for TARGETED INTERNET MARKETING.
The deeper I dig into the Berlin School world, the more interesting I find both the community and the people in it. This is very different from, say, American Idol fan-nuts; the Berlin Schoolers took the music into their own hands and have developed it into a (sorta) living and (kinda) breathing form of expression. I'll have more details to post soon, but let's just say there is a lot of information here that will contradict most niche community study that's gone on to date.
I'm sure I'll be crucified for going this direction, but at least it is fun.