Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Music Research Seminar: William Baldry

Will Baldry

The application of hip-hop turntable technique within avant-garde contexts

Lecture Theatre 1, School of Music


The speaker is Will Baldry (University of Leeds)


Since the 1960s, there have been two distinct traditions of turntable performance. On the one hand, there is the use of the instrument as one of the primary artistic expressions of hip-hop culture; on the other, there is the experimental turntablism scene, as typified by performers such as Christian Marclay. Some performers have integrated techniques drawn from hip-hop scratching into experimental performances. However, through careful analysis of the building blocks of scratch technique, it can be demonstrated that there are whole areas of that technique which have never previously been employed within the field of experimental music. In this seminar, I shall be demonstrating the usefulness of these techniques as abstracted from their roots in hip-hop culture, using examples drawn from new works created throughout my research. I shall also explain how the techniques themselves become open to change and development once removed from the cultural limitations of their hip-hop roots.

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