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Embracing Change: Endings and beginnings in creative and engaged music research with communities.

March 2, 2022 at 9:00 am - 10:15 am

Inaugural webinar of the ‘Play On’ Series

To Join – https://tinyurl.com/zn6yx8sn

Presenters:        Glenn Barry, Anne MacFarlane, Brendan Anthony, Helen Phelan and John Nutekpor

Chair: Helen Phelan

Engaged music research with communities is characterized by creative collaborations, co-design and co-production of artistic research, and the development of meaningful partnerships. While research projects may have defined start dates and end points, human relationships are not as cut and dry. This webinar explores the dynamics of beginnings and endings in the context of creative research partnerships. It features chants of welcome and songs of departure; short presentations on ‘long time’, participatory spaces, forming relationships, and finding friendship. These offerings from music researchers in Australia and Ireland will be followed by an invitation to converse and reflect on our shared experiences of embracing change in these contexts.

Welcome chant: Helen Phelan

Acknowledgement of Country: Glenn Barry


  • Glenn Barry- Understanding beginnings and ending in the context of “long time”
  • Anne MacFarlane – Creating Space: The role of participatory space in starting and nurturing partnerships
  • Brendan Anthony – Relationships formed during popular music production practices: Beginning and endings
  • Helen Phelan – Research partnerships and friendship
  • Departure song: John Nutekpor

Glenn Barry is a Gamilaraay First Nation man who is also an artist, musician and storyteller. Glenn structures identity through reclaiming his ancestral voice. His goal is clear communication. This is through bridging values of both traditional and contemporary worlds: a “trademptorary” world into this 21st century. Glenn has devoted his life towards embedding First Nation roots as a cultural medicine man into his daily life. Various forms of health-giving formats have come naturally including Art Therapy, Shiatsu bodywork, Branch Master in Shorinji Kempo, (Martial Arts), Intuitive and Sound Healing with the Yidaki/didgeridoo and facilitator of Indigenous Culture at Peace for Hearts and is the Yidaki/didgeridoo player of the groups Sacred Sound Journey and Soundscapes. His Honours thesis was titled “Return to Sender: How can an urban First Nation Australian reveal their lived experiences within Contemporary Art Practices?” and his Ph.D research is titled “The health determinants of First Nation Music”.

Anne MacFarlane is a social scientist (psychology, sociology and health promotion). She is founder and overall academic lead for UL’s School of Medicine’s Public and Patient Involvement Research Unit, which is a WHO Collaborating Centre for Migrant’s Involvement in Health Research. She has more than 20 years’ experience in participatory health research, particularly in relation to migrant health. She co-ordinated the EU RESTORE project (2011-2015), a participatory implementation research project designed to improve communication between migrants and practice staff in primary care settings. RESTORE involved the novel combination of Participatory Learning and Action research and Normalisation Process Theory to investigate and support the implementation work in five European primary care settings.  Anne is a member of UL’s Health Research Institute cluster Participatory and arts based methods to involve migrants in health research. Her current research interests include the sociological concept of space and how this can enhance understanding of participatory spaces in health.

Brendan Anthony has an international career as a popular music producer (33 years) and lectures in music production within the Bachelor of Music at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University. Following on from his studies at the Queensland Conservatorium in 1988, Brendan went on to work as an assistant engineer at Australia’s premier recording studio: Rhinoceros Recordings, Sydney. It was here he learnt the practice of popular music production from the most acclaimed music producers from around the world (Chris Thomas, Chris Lorde-Alge) and worked with many esteemed artists including INXS, Midnight Oil and Hans Zimmer. A freelance career followed where Brendan worked and resided in Los Angeles, London and France. Upon returning to Australia, Brendan was offered a teaching role at the Queensland Conservatorium so that his real-world knowledge could be offered to students. A full-time academic position eventuated in 2013 and whilst working as a third-party mixer Brendan completed a Masters of Music (research) and a Doctorate of Education. Brendan is currently putting the final touches on a book that will be published through Routledge in 2022 entitled Popular Music Production Pedagogy in Higher Education: Perspectives from Both Sides of the Glass. Brendan’s research engages with popular music production, popular music education and the relationship between technology and music production creative practice.

Helen Phelan is a musician, academic and Professor of Arts Practice at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, Ireland. She is an Irish Research Council recipient for her work on music and migration. She is co-founder of the female vocal ensemble Cantoral, specializing in Irish medieval chant; founder of the Singing and Social Inclusion research group at the University of Limerick; and current chair of IMBAS, a support network for artistic research in Ireland. Her most recent Health Research Institute funded project explores the use of participatory arts-based methods in migrant health research. Recent publications include Singing the Rite to Belong: Music, Ritual and the New Irish (Oxford University Press) and The Artist and Academia (Routledge) edited with Graham Welch.

John Nutekpor is a musician, educator and festival curator with over twenty years of experience teaching in primary, secondary and tertiary education in Ghana and internationally. His in-depth knowledge of Ghanaian traditional music and dance has led to teaching and presenting invitations across Europe and North America. He holds an MA in Festive Arts from the University of Limerick and is a regular guest teacher at the Irish World Academy. In 2021 he won a funding award from the Department of Justice and Equality for an integration project based on his research. He is presently conducting doctoral research around Ghanaian-Irish cultural dialogue, through music and dance pedagogy, curation and performance, and has recently been appointed by Limerick City and County Council to curate the 2022 Africa Day event.


March 2, 2022
9:00 am - 10:15 am