International Prince scholarship continues apace with the BATDANCE symposium at Spelman College, Atlanta. At the end of the month I’ll be presenting on the the evolution of the Batman soundtrack album, the eleventh full-length studio album by Prince, and the first and only soundtrack album by Prince for a movie in which he was not involved as an actor. With a number of Purple Reign scholars speaking at the conference, we will be building on our international network with a view to further developments.
As fellow Prince scholar and BATDANCE organiser De Angela Duff puts so incisively….
“Prince was an innovator in multiple spheres of the arts. Prince was also interdisciplinarity, entrepreneurship, and invention incarnate. He was at the forefront of recording, lighting, and stage technology. Roger Linn’s Linn LM-1 Drum Machine, the first drum machine to use digital samples of acoustic drums, is intrinsically tied to and essentially synonymous with Prince and the “Minneapolis sound” that he is known for. Prince, an early and avid adopter of the internet, conversed directly with his fans in AOL private chatrooms way before Twitter or Facebook. In 1994, before Beyonce’s visual albums, he released his music in an interactive form, even going so far as to entitle it, Interactive. He was also on the forefront of entrepreneurship, building his own 55,000 square feet media complex for audio studio recordings, film and video shoots, band and tour rehearsals that he rented out to others during its inception in 1987. After he initially left Warner Bros. in 1996, he also constantly tested several, music distribution models involving old and new media. Prince worked with Van Jones to create and fund the organizations, #YesWeCode and Green For All. Also, before diversity became a ubiquitous term, Prince’s roster of band members and staff consisted of all races, genders, sexual orientations, and religions. On top of that, Prince was a silent philanthropist donating to many organizations including educational ones such as the Harvest Network of Schools, Harlem Children’s Zone, and Eau Claire Promise Zone to name a few. “
Further details on the symposium can be found here: