Toby Martin’s historical research focuses on Aboriginal music-making, colonial tourism, and country music in Australia, including the 2015 monograph Yodelling Boundary Riders: country music in Australia since the 1920s (Lyrebird Press, University of Melbourne). As a practice-led researcher working in the field of popular music, he is also interested in developing improvisatory approaches to cross-cultural music making, place-based lyric writing and generating social inclusivity through music. Toby’s most recent album Songs From Northam Avenue (produced by Urban Theatre Projects and released by Ivy League Records, 2017) was a poetic response to the Sydney suburb of Bankstown, and a collaboration with musicians from a diverse range of backgrounds including Vietnamese, Iraqi and Lebanese performers. Toby continues to develop methodologies of cross-cultural music-making and musical inclusivity, facilitating songwriting workshops with refugees and prisoners in northern England as part of the Momentum II project for the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.
Jan Herbst investigates the history and the sound of German metal. Wacken, Rammstein, Teutonic metal: Germany is a country where metal music enjoys huge popularity. After the genre emerged in the UK and the USA, Germany was amongst the first countries to adopt this new form of music. With German hard rock acts such as the Scorpions and Accept having been successful since the 1970s, metal exploded in Germany in the 1980s and shaped a unique style that is valued and has often been copied by international artists. Jan identifies key places, musicians, producers and labels, covering many aspects from original approaches to songwriting, performance through to production, ultimately discussing if there is, or has ever been, such as thing as the ‘Teutonic metal sound’.