“But if musical identity is, then, always fantastic, idealizing not just oneself but also the social world one inhabits, it is, secondly, always also real, enacted in musical activities. Music making and music listening, that is to say, are bodily matters; involve what one might call social movements. In this respect, musical pleasure is not derived from fantasy – it is not mediated by dreams – but is experienced directly: music gives us a real experience of what the ideal could be.” – Simon Frith

We use music, specifically new music, to shape our individual identities and help us belong to a communal identity. This week’s conversation revolves around that topic in concept, practice, and development.

“Music is neither ‘simply a social and political category’ nor ‘a vague and utterly contingent construction’ but ‘remains the outcome of practical activity: language, gesture, bodily significations, desires.’”¹

Host: @mezzoihnen


  1. Intros are important tonight because we’re talking about “identity” – Name/What *all* do you do? How’d you hear about us?
  2. What is the current proportion of time spent wearing your various hats, and does that match up with your desired proportion?
  3. How does social media act as an extension of your identity in new music?
  4. How important is it to post about everything and *not* just the positives?
  5. Are there other aspects of identity (i.e. authenticity, gender, socio-economic class) that shape you as an agent of new music?
  6. Do you perceive yourself as an advocate for any cause through the daily practical activity of music-making?
  7. When/how do you know that your identity as a new music agent is being validated?
  8. How do you think the new music collective identity is inclusive and exclusive to individuals?
  9. Where do you see these serious issues having the most detrimental effects?
  10. Who are our strongest new music identity-shapers or authority figures currently? How did you come to that conclusion?
  11. Bonus question: Tell me what you’re working on right now. What are you excited about? Include links!

The full conversation is on Storify.