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HONORS EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING PROJECT PROPOSAL FORM Basic Information Full Name: Grant Wagner UC Email: wagnerg2@mail.uc.edu College: DAAP Major: Architecture Title of Project: Vinyl: Rediscovering Musics Most Genuine Format Thematic Area: Community Engagement Expected Project Start Date: August 2013 Expected Project End Date: February 2014 Project Information 1. Provide a detailed abstract of your proposed honors experiential learning project. Music, at its very roots, is one of the most astounding catalysts for human connection. Since the dawn of civilization, humans have always come together to participate in music, whether it is the primal beating of the drums or the hallowed echo of a church organ. There are perhaps no more fundamental ways in which societies and cultures are interconnected than in what music they make and listen to. Nearly every nation, tribe, movement, or group of people ever gathered has adopted some relationship to music into their identity. In this, both musicians and music listeners shared an equal role in how a society functions. Unfortunately, there exists today a perversion of this musical relationship. No longer are music makers and music listeners on the same level. Instead, flat commercialism and pop culture idolatry have turned our fellow man and musician into distant rulers, who only exist not as equals to their audience, but as above and apart from them. Where before, musicians had just a much to give to an audience as they had to get, it now seems to be all about what a performer can get out of their listeners. Somewhere under the information age tech, digital downloads, expensive concerts, and paparazzi, the true meaning of music has been lost. Luckily, there is some change occurring. Some musicians have begun to realize the separation between creator and listener and sought to fix it by essentially becoming a member of the community that listens to them. I, alongside them, am interested to see how this connection functions and how it can be brought back. I think that I have also found the perfect way to examine this: through vinyl records. Vinyl is one of the classic ways to listen to music. People have been listening to vinyl almost as long as popular music has existed. Because of this, vinyl hails from a time before the musician-listener rift occurred. The connection between musician and listener remains inherent in a record. I personally feel more connected to the music when I listen to it on vinyl. What I seek to answer is, why? What about vinyl that is different from modern formats that brings the connection back, at least for me? Are there any others who feel this way as well? And what can be done with this knowledge to change music? I plan to purchase at least one record monthly and try to disseminate all aspects of it that connect me to the music. Hopefully, I will find some records more connecting than others, which will allow me to see which attempts at connection work better than others. I already am an avid collector and listener of vinyl, so I will know wha t Im looking for to some extent. Additionally, I will conduct interviews of other vinyl owners across as many demographics and locations as possible, and perhaps even a few record storeowners as well. The stretch of time I have given myself will put both at home, in Cincinnati, and on co-op, so that I can try to reach as many people in different locations as possible. I intend to try to ascertain exactly what about vinyl that they are drawn to. In the end, I hope to truly discover what makes connections in music and how that can be reapplied to the industry today. Clearly and thoroughly address how each of the following elements will be exhibited in your work: 2. Connection to Learning Outcomes within the Honors Thematic Area (identified above)
Participates in community and understands own role as citizen of community. Relates, communicates, and works effectively with others towards sustainable social change My actions during this project will primarily give me a sense of awareness of musical culture in both the past and present and help me to understand exactly how the community between musicians and music listeners works, via interviews of fellow vinyl lovers and research conducted on the internet. Additionally, I will attempt to discover a viable method through which music can be changed and fixed.

3. Connection to Goals and Academic Theories (include reference list, as appropriate A. This project relates to my development in that it will hone my skill in community awareness for application in other communities. Personally, I also hope to understand the importance of music and connectedness to myself in my own life, and perhaps gain practice in conducting thorough independent research. B. I will attempt to gain knowledge of certain academic theories on popular music and vinyl in order to help inform my project. One such theory is penned by Theodor Adorno (http://libcom.org/library/on-popmusic-theodor-adorno-george-simpson) and attempts to recognize exactly what pop music is and how it came to be. This is almost a direct correlation to what I plan on discovering. Additionally, there are number of print resources to peruse, such as Popular Music in Theory: An Introduction by Keith Negus (http://www.amazon.com/Popular-Music-Theory-Introduction-Culture/dp/0819563102) which looks at how popular music is created across a series of relationships that link together industry and audiences, producers and consumers 4. Initiative, Independence, and/or Creativity I intend to do this project entirely independently. As far as Im aware, no project like this has been conducted in quite the same manner, as I will be doing. This aspect is quite exciting. Additionally, I will be taking the initiative to ask other music listeners what they think of the formats they listen to music on. I think this can benefit form both in person interviews and discussion via the Internet. I will be reaching as many people as I can. 5. Reflection Reflection will be quite active during this project. I will be taking notes on each new record that I listen to, and outlining criteria like: In what way was this music enhanced? What stuck out to me as I held it and listening to it? What made me feel more connected to the artist or the music itself? The interviews that I conduct will consist of questions like: What is your preferred format for listening to music? What about it do you like? What do you think is the present state of the music industry and how should t change? They will be either voice recorded or recorded via writing. At the end, the reflective essay will be a presentation of all these ideas that I have learned about, and what I think they mean all together. 6. Dissemination I think it would be most interesting to disseminate this project via video compilation. This is important because if I make a good enough video, I could post it to the same Internet communities that I interviewed. It would be extremely easy to spread. It could even catch on and spread to other communities and give my ideas the best chance of making a real change. 7. Budget (if applicable) My budget could be anywhere from $10-50 a month. It all depends on what quality and quantity of records I plan on buying. It would be best if I varied the amount I spent monthly in order to get the best range for my research.