Conference on Detroit Sound May 23, 2014

Posted by & filed under Criticism, Education, Events, Uncategorized.

We are pleased to announce the First Annual Detroit Sound Conservancy Conference on Detroit Music.


Friday May 23, 2014 at the Detroit Public Library.

Our goal is to increase knowledge of Detroit’s vast musical legacy through education and reflection. The presenters and panelists are encouraged to explore a wide range of topics that impact the cultural work of Detroit sound and the roles of writers and researchers in documenting the city’s music. Potential panel and paper topics include labor, race, class, gender, sexuality, genre, tourism, preservation, journalism, and criticism. The conference will gather scholars, writers, journalists, and sound activists dedicated to advancing the goal of preserving Detroit sounds and telling Detroit stories.

The conference aligns with the DSC’s mission to conserve Detroit’s musical history direct from the collaborative voices of writers and musicians. Detroit music journalists have been key archivists of Detroit sounds that have changed the world, from Motown to techno, blues to jazz, to so much more. They have documented the bands. They have interviewed the musicians. They tell the stories so the music lives. The Conserving Sounds Conference will highlight these key sound activists.

To help us in our endeavor, we are proud to say that the conference will be held at the main branch library of the Detroit Public Library. The Detroit Public Library Friends Foundation has been our fiduciary since our group’s inception in 2012.

Patrice Merritt, Executive Director of the Detroit Public Library Friends Foundation, supports the DSC and our efforts:

“The Detroit Sound Conservancy  fills a gap in preserving the musical history of the Detroit sound.  It recognizes that history, ancient or modern, is chronicled by artists and musicians who created great sounds, new sounds and never let the lack of a venue or an audience get in their way of making music.  Saving those Detroit voices and the preserving the memory of those spaces,  is paramount to the mission of the Conservancy.  The Detroit Public Library prides itself of chronicling Detroit’s history including its musical legacy. We are proud to be a supporter of the Conservancy’s efforts.”

In addition, the Music, Arts, and Literature Librarian at the Detroit Public Library, Cully Sommers, is excited about hosting the DSC conference:

“Over the years, it has been a challenge to grow and change with emerging technology and trends in the library world while still preserving the legacy of music in Detroit that DPL has attempted to document. I applaud the time and effort that the DSC has poured into this project, and fully endorse their efforts. I look forward to working together with the DSC to not only preserve the memories of the past, but also to become vibrant partners in the current musical life of Detroit. The effort and dedication of the DSC will continue to pay dividends to historians, musicians, fans and casual observers for years to come.”

The deadline for presentation/workshop proposals and sponsorship opportunities is Friday, February 28, 2014. Single presentations should be 15-20 minutes long; panels 60-75 minutes plus Q&A.

Please send a 250 word abstract plus 150 word author bio, as well as any inquiries, to

Please tweet to #detsound

Originally published 28 January 2014
Updated 11 February 2014

Comments are closed.