Underground music scenes: starting a musician career or partying with friends?
Gomes, Rui Telmo
- Observatório das Actividades Culturais Lisboa, Portugal
In recent years, new popular music acts have made themselves known in Portugal through their self-producing strategies (publishing with their own small labels and promoting shows on their own). Cooperation networks (Howard Becker) within different small musical scenes (Andy Bennett) engage young musicians, amateur and professional gatekeepers and audiences (gathering friends mostly). Those networks combine conviviality, artistic production and ritual performance - and are refered to as the underground.
One key aspect to be addressed is the balance between identity practices and professional aspirations. On the one hand, authenticity is a recurrent issue among underground musicians and drives them to make music meaningful to their peers. On the other hand, young musicians find themselves in a liminal (Victor Turner) stage in their lives trying to translate their creative output into a way of living.