Detroit Sound Conference: Conserving Sounds; Telling Stories


Please visit the Facebook Event Page.

10 am – 6 pm, Friday May 23, 2014 at the Detroit Public Library.

Music, Arts & Literature Department, Third Floor

This event is free and open to the public.

See the original call for papers here.

Please join the Detroit Sound Conservancy for their first conference on Detroit music entitled “Conserving Sounds, Telling Stories.” The conference will feature local, national, and international journalists, scholars, archivists, and sound activists presenting papers on the history and culture of Detroit music. Topics will include the history and practice of Detroit music journalism, historical designation efforts related to Detroit music history, Wikiing about Detroit music, Detroit’s historic ballrooms, the history of Detroit radio mix shows, and the compelling need to attend to Detroit’s diverse musical legacies. Presenters will also discuss music genres such as jazz, rhythm & blues, Latin, house, techno, rock, punk, and more.

The conference will take place in the Music, Arts, and Literature Department and the E. Azalia Hackley Reading Room at the Main Branch of the Detroit Public Library.

The deadline for presentation/workshop proposals was Friday, February 28, 2014. Single presentations will be 15-20 minutes long and panels will be 60-75 minutes plus Q&A. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.


Times and speakers subject to change.

All Day

Special Black History 101 Mobile Museum display on Detroit music

Detroit Music Book Display by Cully Sommers of the Music, Arts, and Literature Department

10:15 – 10:30: Introductions

10:15 – 10:30: Introductions, Sheet Music Room
Welcome by Carleton S. Gholz
Opening Remarks by Denise Dalphond

10:30 – 11:45: Panel 1, Sheet Music Room
Michelle McKinney, “Planning for a Detroit Sound Legacy”
Rebecca Binno Savage, “A United Sound Systems Designation Update”
Madelyn Shackelford Washington, “The Detroit Techno Ontology: A Tool for Describing the Digital Diaspora”
Edward Vielmetti, “Wiking for Detroit Sound: Problems and Possibilities”

12:00 – 1:15: Panel 2, Sheet Music Room
Veronica Grandison & Richard Marcil, “The Graystone Ballroom Legacy”
Leo Early, “Space is the Place: From the Village to the Michigan Palace”
Consuela Lopez & Osvaldo “Ozzie” Rivera, “The Impact of Latin Artists and Music in Detroit”

12:00 – 1:15: Panel 3, Hackley Reading Room
Mike Rubin, “Life After Death: Towards An Understanding of Detroit’s Punk Diaspora”
John Williams, “All My Friends are Legends”
Cliff Helm, “Recapturing Lost Sounds”
Mark Slobin, “Subcultures Meet the Superculture in High School, 1940s-60s”

2:00 – 3:15: Panel 4, Sheet Music Room
Detroit Music Journalism Past, Present, Future
Moderated by Walter Wasacz
Panelists: W. Kim Heron, Keith Owens, Veronica Grandison, Mike Rubin, and Susan Whitall

3:30 – 4:45: Panel 5, Sheet Music Room
Brendan Gillen, “Chicago Underground: The True Story of House Music”
Marlon Bailey, “Black Queer Ballroom”
Bernardo Attias, “Sounds of the City in Distress: Sonic Appropriation and Cultural Hybridity in Detroit Techno”
Denise Dalphond, “Detroit Players: Wax, Trax, and Soul in Electronic Music.”

3:30 – 4:45: Panel 6, Hackley Reading Room
Khary Turner, “What is Hip Hop Journalism?”
Carleton Gholz, “The Rise and Fall of the Detroit Radio Mix Show”
Alex Blue V, “Illuminating Detroit’s Place in the Hip-Hop Narrative”
Matthew Chicoine, “The Detroit Way: Creative Exchange in Music Production, 1950-2000”

5:00 – 5:45: Panel 7, Sheet Music Room
Edgar Arceneaux, “A Time to Break Silence, MLK, UR & 2001 A Space Odyssey”
Lauren Murtagh, “The Dan Sicko Papers”

5:45 – 6:00 Sheet Music Room

In addition, on Saturday, May 24th, DSC Founder Carleton Gholz will be helping guide a tour of Detroit beyond Hart Plaza for music lovers in town for Movement Electronic Music Festival. Limited tickets were available here.

Please send inquiries to or leave questions at 313-757-5082

Please tweet to #detsound

Special Thanks To:

Updated 22 May 2014

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