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The God Article


A new research collaboration is set to breathe technological life into an ancient Turkish instrument.

Ethnomusicologist Dr John Morgan O’Connell – along with Sonic Art Scholar Alexandros Kontogeorgakopoulus and User Experience Designer Anthony Mace – has been awarded £50,000 as part of REACT’s Objects Sandbox scheme.

Six teams made up of academics, creative and product design entrepreneurs have each been awarded funding to develop a prototype of an internet-connected object over the next three months.

Dr O’Connell’s project – The God Article – revolves around the Turkish ney , a musical object steeped in cultural significance. This traditional instrument will be fused with cutting-edge technology to break new musical ground. Of particular significance, the ney is difficult to teach and play. This award will allow the team to develop ney replicas with breath sensors that will facilitate online learning.

 The project will draw upon Dr O’Connell’s expertise in ethnomusicology and Turkish music. His most recent publication - Alaturka: Style in Turkish Music (1923-1938)is a major monograph on the significance of style in Turkish music during a major period of musical and cultural change in the country.

REACT is a collaboration between the UWE Bristol, Watershed (and iShed), and the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter. It is one of four Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to develop strategic partnerships with creative businesses and cultural organisations, to strengthen and diversify their collaborative research activities and increase the number of arts and humanities researchers actively engaged in research-based knowledge exchange.

REACT’s latest theme is Objects Sandbox which emphasises the interactions and experiences that exist between an individual and [internet] connected, physical objects. More information on the theme and the other funded projects is available at: http://www.react-hub.org.uk/objects-sandbox/

Visit our new Music Research blog for Dr O'Connell's updates on project progress: http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/musicresearch/2014/03/28/the-god-article/