A Blog about the Wardour Castle Summer Schools 1964, 1965

Royal Musical Association

The following paper was given at the Royal Musical Association’s annual conference, 16 July 2010.

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Hugh Wood

On Thursday, 29th October I visited Hugh Wood at his London home, to speak with him about his experience and memory of the WCSSs. I recorded, with permission, the interview. Meeting Wood was thoroughly enjoyable and he lived up to his reputation as charming, intelligent and thoughtful. His memories will enlighten my research, and over the coming months more details of the events will be posted. This post, like the initial post regarding Michael Hall, will focus on the ethics of recording and publishing the interview.

At the outset I asked if it would be alright to record, and Wood agreed.

Late in the conversation I mentioned that there were ethical issues with me making a recording. His response was ‘oh that’s nice of you to say’. Then the following took place:

(LS100045; from 35’55”)

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blind but not deaf: methodology iv

I have organized a series of interviews over the next few weeks and so needed some new equipment for documenting these. Much has changed since the last time I bought a portable recording device, including the prevalence of very portable high quality video and audio equipment and the dissolution of low end and professional quality gear (see, for example, the Tascam DR-100). In the end the decision was based on what I didn’t want to record. My worry with this project is that I will accumulate too much data that I have neither the time nor expertise to adequately process, leading to a situation where I fall back on old habits, clich├ęd categorisations and the like. With a project based on events that occurred more than forty years ago, the accuracy of memory of those who attended is going to be a major factor, and one that I am keen to construct as a positive part of the research process, such that the study informs a broader understanding of a cultural memory for these events. The blog so far has detailed what exists in written publications and the questions that I am formulating for the forthcoming interviews are based on the extent of those documents. To an extent about which I cannot be precise, loss of memory of details and the unmemorability of the events are entangled. Read the rest of this entry »

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