Making Music in Bankstown: Responding to Place Through Song

Toby Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review


Two songs — “Dreams In German” and “Olive Tree”— are presented here as an attempt to explore how composition, arrangement, and recording of popular music can respond to a specific place, in this case, the Sydney suburb of Bankstown. Through lyrics, song structures, instrumentation, and recording, these songs try to capture the sounds and stories of a multicultural, multiphonic urban area in the twenty-first century. The accompanying short essay contextualizes these compositions. It outlines the research aims and methodologies used in trying to achieve this. It also places the research within scholarship on popular music and place, and intercultural music collaborations. Its conclusions are that listening is important in responding to place and that music and song has a special role to play in a response to place.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-31
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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