One of the best parts of this project so far has been at once contributing to and developing the project while also stepping back and looking with curiosity and to see how it develops in the hands of my team members. It has been through actually working on the project these last three weeks that I have come to have a fuller understanding of it. Now I can explain it to you!
Logistically speaking, we are using the web based mapping platform ArcGIS to plot musical and artistic events in time and space on a period map of Paris. More generally, each of us are using web newspapers, historic correspondences, bios of composers, and scholarly texts pertaining to Paris music and musicians to find events from 1924, which we then enter into a spreadsheet that will eventually be synced with the map.
Why a map? Why 1924?
1924 isn’t one of the famous years…it wasn’t the end of the war or the start of the Russian Revolution, for example, but it was highly affected by these events, and it presents a year both intrinsically unique and a year like any other—in which great works were written and premiered, collaborations formed and broken, movements succeeded, failed, and progressed.
A map can help students, scholars, and anyone interested interact with these events and feel, hear, and see 1924 in a way they couldn’t with text or images alone.