In the winter and spring of 2022, American UniversityProfessor Aram Sinnreich and his partner, Dunia Best used a mobile recording studio built into a repurposed food truck to drive around Washington, DC and produce free professional recordings for more than a dozen local musicians.
The project spanned a broad range of music, from Malian griots to hardcore punk bands, to a women’s cumbia percussion collective.
In conjunction with his partners, the musician Dunia Best and former Hit Factory engineer Neil Perry, Sinnreich integrated the recording process into his course Musical Cultures & Industries.
Two dozen undergraduates assisted in capturing oral histories of each musician, detailing their personal and community histories.
The project culminated in a free, live performance, featuring ten of the artists in the summer of 2022. The performance was timed to coincide with the public release of the musical compilation and selected interview footage on outofourshells.com.
In this talk, Sinnreich discusses the Out of Our Shells project in theory and practice. He explains why a mobile recording studio can serve as a platform for collective resistance against media industry hegemony, and offers insights on how to replicate this and similar projects in other urban spaces, including London.
He will also share some stellar music and interview clips from his participants.