Skip to main content
SVG version of QUB Shield - White
The Senator George J.Mitchell Institute
for Global Peace, Security and Justice

'Contested Resonances' Conference 29th-30th July 2021

'Happenings and the Space between Vibrations: Planned and Unplanned Resonances'

Darren Ferguson, CEO of Beyond Skin, and Olivier Urbain, Director of the Min-On Music Research Institute (MOMRI) discuss two documentary films that show different ways to enhance connection and relationships through music. Both films were made possible thanks to the support of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

The first documentary Music is the Dialogue and We Start Together shows the process of connections that happened during a spontaneous creation of a song, with Beyond Skin welcoming artists from Colombia and England to Northern Ireland. The second Far Away - Don't Stop the Music reveals the background to the song ‘Far Away’ jointly created by high school students in Northern Ireland (Glengormley High school, lyrics) and in Japan (the C&S Music School, music).

The first film shows how music helps people to connect spontaneously without much planning when a creative space is open. The second how music can help overcoming social exclusion and school refusal, when it is the centre of education in a high school. It shows a well-organised and purposeful use of music at the school, and the professional music video Far Away reflects this kind of programmatic use of creativity and the arts.

After an overall introduction by Kiyomi Muro we show excerpts of Music is the Dialogue followed by questions and answers with Darren Ferguson. What is the meaning of open space, happenings and creativity for peacebuilding? Next comes Far Away - Don't Stop the Music documentary followed by questions and answers with Olivier Urbain. What were the challenges of carrying this project to completion during the pandemic, what are the advantages of sticking to a schedule and emphasising outcome rather than process?

The final part of the presentation* is dedicated to live discussion facilitated by Kiyomi Muro where Ferguson and Urbain share their experiences when the planned and unplanned resonate, enabling music to apply itself more effectively in peacebuilding. Highlighting that just like music itself, there are multiple approaches and arrangements of tempo, pitch, space, and volume that help peace processes.

*Please note, all presentations are for academic and research viewing purposes only and cannot be posted in the public domain or used in part or full on any other media platforms or social media sites.   All rights are reserved and held by Participants. For more information regarding licensing/permisssions usage and queries, please contact our Project Manager, Christina Captieux  

The Conference was organised as part of the AHRC/ESRC funded Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research project Sounding Conflict: From Resistance to Reconciliation 2017-2021. 


Contact Us

The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice
Queen's University Belfast
18-19 University Square
United Kingdom
T: +44 (0)208 9097 3413 / 3740

Facebook Twitter Blog