‘Immersed in the conflict’
Mike Westbrook’s Marching Song (1969) and the landscape and soundscape of war
Keywords:Bourdieu, improvisation, jazz, landscape, programme music, World War One
With his third album, Marching Song, Mike Westbrook demonstrated the potential of jazz, and of British jazz, to explore both a wide sonic palette and complex social, cultural and historical events. He did so, in this instance, using the idea of landscape as both a metaphor and mediating concept. To comprehend such a composition, the critic must seek to enter the composer’s frame of reference (habitus) and the work’s wider cultural field. To do so a knowledge of both jazz history and history in its broader sense are required. The methodology utilized here focuses on the creative process itself, drawing upon the work of both Pierre Bourdieu and Jason Toynbee.
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