I’ve spent the afternoon drawing up a list of past speakers for Musica Scotica conferences; we’re starting to think about a published book of conference proceedings. Whilst doing it, I’ve also had the We The Humanities Twitter account open, as I’ve been curating it this week – so that’s another community I’m interacting with. (Find us @WeTheHumanities)
Meanwhile, last night I received another invitation to speak – this time to the Friends of the Wighton Collection in Dundee. I first encountered the Wighton Collection in 2002 – indeed, the research I did that year was the inspiration for my subsequent PhD – and I’ve been back quite often since then, hungry to get sight of the many rare Scottish music books that Andrew Wighton bequeathed to the city in the mid-nineteenth century. Being invited to speak to the Friends is therefore quite an honour, and I’ll try to do them proud.
I love the fact that my research has introduced me to all these different communities, whether scholarly or wider subject interest. I’m in absolutely no doubt that my PhD subject has helped here. When I first came to Glasgow in 1988, I had no idea I’d even take an academic interest in Scottish music. Fast forward to 2009 when I got my PhD from the University of Glasgow – just goes to show you never know what opportunities lie round the corner!
Looking ahead, I have three speaking engagements in four weeks this Autumn – and that’s before we do any library user education! Two are in Edinburgh, and one to our research community at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. All are about some aspect of my research.
Practice makes [Presentation] Perfect
However, whilst I am accustomed to speaking about libraries, bibliographies, electronic resources, Scottish music, and even early career academia, I’m not accustomed to recording myself talking about making quilts for Nepal! I made a quilt for the relief work effort a couple of weeks ago, and handed it to one of the organisers. Then I did a bit of social media promotion for them, and next thing I knew, PechaKucha asked me to record a presentation. A welcome opportunity, but also an interesting challenge, because most of the slides entailed my sewing an example and then taking a photo of it before I could add it to to the presentation! Writing a script for a presentation in which each slide would get EXACTLY 20 seconds of narrative, and then recording all 6’40” of it, word perfect, was another challenge. As for getting the (massive, high quality) audio file to the PechaKucha technician in Tokyo … well, thank heavens for Dropbox! I was so relieved when it was all done and dusted. You can watch it here:- http://www.pechakucha.org/channels/inspirenepal/presentations/quilts-for-nepal