Sam Coley LOW RESI’ve had several interesting lunchtime meetings today (though only one lunch).

For my first meeting, I sat down with my teaching colleagues Sam Coley (left) and Andy Martindale to talk about the direction of our Music Programming undergraduate module.

It’s part of the radio degree, but it’s also something other Media students can choose as an option. It deals with two main things: specialist music shows and radio station formats.

The course explores how those two things work, how music makes meaning for people, and how putting music together in order constructs audiences and reflects scenes and cultures. It’s affectionately referred to as Mixtapes 101.

Students learn not only what makes music ‘work’ in different contexts and as a piece of media communication, but also the mechanics and techniques of format radio. Of course, these days, the applications of constructing musical texts over time applies right across media – particularly in digital media contexts.

We’re looking at putting together an online resource for this sort of thing.

Incidentally, Sam’s documentary celebrating the 30th anniversary of Bowie’s Let’s Dance is on Absolute Radio this Sunday.

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The second meeting was with a bunch of people who run a Brazilian newspaper in London called The Brazilian Post. That’s them pictured above. They “enjoyed” our university canteen food while we chatted. I, er… “wasn’t hungry”.

They want to interview me about my research and the documentary film I’m going to be making about solidarity economy in the independent music sector in Brazil. They knew a lot about Fora do Eixo, the group I’m working with out there, and had some really interesting insights into the way in which FDE have set up their own political and economic framework outside of the way that traditional economics works.

Solidarity economy is sometimes referred to as “friendly capitalism” and one of the newspaper people called it “the most important movement in the world today”. So I might be onto something…

One of the University marketing people and someone from international recruitment were also there. Must have said something right, because I was offered another trip over to Brazil in September to do some recruitment stuff for BCU too. Not going to say no to that.

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And my last meeting was with my friend Brian, who’s the sax player in UB40. We had a whole bunch of stuff to talk about, new and interesting projects on the horizon – and, finally, actual lunch too. It was great to catch up. We used to DJ together pretty much every week for a while there, but haven’t seen each other for a few months.

He’s asked me to be on a non-executive board he’s putting together for his latest project, and I’ve asked him to be involved in a new online venture I’m helping out with – and we worked out some interesting ways of getting students involved (and paid) along the way.

So… I may have started at noon and ended at 4pm, but I managed to get some really good work done over that extended lunch break. More meetings should happen that way.

That’s an orange juice Brian’s holding in that picture, by the way. We were all business.