The Irish World Music Café: Performing and Recording as Tools for Sustainable Social Integration


Social Singing
Video Recording

How to Cite

Phelan, H., Hennelly, J., Chappell, D., & Roberts, A. (2017). The Irish World Music Café: Performing and Recording as Tools for Sustainable Social Integration. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 17(3).


This arts-based and ethnographic research comprises two video submissions; ‘Elikya’ and ‘Irish World Music Café’ as well as an accompanying paper exploring the potential contribution of live musical performance and video recording to sustainable social integration for new migrant communities. The research is anchored in an exploration of an initiative called The Irish World Music Café in Limerick city, Ireland. The café is a community-based event promoting social singing for new migrants and Limerick residents in the heart of the city. The paper discusses the growing body of evidence concerning the role played by music (particularly singing) in supporting sustainable social integration. It also presents two video-based projects: the first captures the live performances of the café with the second focusing on Elikya, a Congolese music group associated with the café. The paper also discusses the growing importance of video documentation in supporting and disseminating live performance events such as the café. Using Turino’s categories of cultural formations and cultural cohorts (2008), it argues for the role of the café, both as a live event and a recorded phenomenon, in contributing to the development of alternative values and social change.

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