kate bowan on settler identity in australia and the radio


Kate Bowan, ‘”…that keen interest we have for the strange and the rare…”: The Radio Broadcasts of Adelaide composer Hooper Brewster-Jones (1930–1933)’, Journal of Music Research Online 1 (2009).

The surviving transcripts of Adelaide composer Hooper Brewster-Jones’s lecture broadcasts given in the early 1930s on Adelaide’s recently established ABC radio station 5CL reveal a cosmopolitan Australian composer eager to engage with other cultures. His cosmopolitanism is very much a rooted even provincial one, clearly embedded in his particular historical and cultural context. Nonetheless, the story of Brewster-Jones’s broadcasts helps to destabilise and complicate the picture of early twentieth-century Australian musical history. His encounters with musics modern, ancient and exotic add a missing page

to Australian broadcasting history and challenge the received orthodoxy of Australian music from this period as a pale imitation of English pastoralism.

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