Scenes, tribes, music worlds and subcultures are all popular synonyms for social groups that centre around music. Through sonic connection, people are able to identify themselves and others. These strong group identities create networks to develop and maintain alternative modes of being, living and coming together. In a series of ongoing projects, I question how we can strengthen, develop and nurture these alternative collective identities through sound. I try to develop the sociopolitical possibilities of alternative electronic dance music throughout my work as a labelhead, dj and musician. I investigate how alternative electronic music can create and maintain different modes of being on an economic, ecological or social scale.
In this research project, I focus on the different ways music can create space. I am specifically interested in the different ways we can look at and conceive this space, be it as a musical, physical, mental, social, imagined or lived space, and how these spaces intersect and interact with the rest of society. What is specific about the musical space that enables the form of the physical space? What is specific about the mental space we enter in nightlife, that enables a different embodied, collective lived space. How can we foster this, to develop it further? How does the social space of class, religion and race interact with the musical one? What are the boundaries? By abstracting the spatial questions alternative electronic music entail, I hope to produce musical work that focuses specifically on nurturing strong collective identities. Be it through compilations, parties and events that enable people to live this space, or through installation work that is able to represent this space.
Jonathan Cant is a dj, musician and labelhead from Brussels. He is part of the MONTAGE label and party series. His practice focuses on everything between media-arts, music curation and sound. With a background in film and theatre, his visual work often focuses on developing interactive visual systems and installations.
In recent years, his research worked on the intersection of sound with identity, politics and class. Jonathan strongly believes that the ways we interact with music form us, and that musical scenes thus offer special ways of constructing collective identities. By offering ways of being, music gives us agency in building our own little utopias for a night.