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"No customs tariffs in music": Martin Bartlett, counterculture, and musics of the Pacific Rim in Vancouver's political economy, 1963-1993

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
This thesis investigates interactions between local musical production and the political economy in Vancouver from the late 1960s to the late 1980s by focusing on the life of composer, community organizer and university professor Martin Bartlett. Bartlett's work brought together cutting-edge musical technologies with Indonesian and Indian philosophies and approaches to music making, creating a Pacific Rim-oriented European settler musical identity unique to the west coast of Canada. His artistic vision was forged in the 1960s Californian counterculture, but by the 1980s it began to parallel the priorities of political actors leveraging the musical cultures of the Pacific Rim as part of a wider effort to increase transpacific trade and investment. These economic developments brought musicians and instruments from Indonesia to the stages of large multicultural festivals in Vancouver, creating the conditions necessary for Bartlett to establish a community around the study of Javanese, Balinese, and experimental electronic musics based on his countercultural values. For this brief but emblematic moment in Vancouver's history, contrasting frameworks for local interactions with musics from Southeast Asia laid bare competing visions for how transpacific cultural connections could shape the identities and lived realities of both European settler artists and of the city itself.
72 pages.
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Copyright is held by the author(s).
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Kenny, Nicolas
Member of collection
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