SHELLAC RECORDS RESEARCH
I am writing here to express my sincere interest in pursuing a Ph.D. in my actual research, focusing on the materiality of shellac records and their intrinsic links with colonialism and place. My ongoing research, sparked by a transformative visit to the SLBC Radio Archives in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in December 2022, forms the basis for my proposed doctoral exploration. During my visit to the SLBC Radio Archives, I had the unique opportunity to immerse myself in a diverse collection of archival materials, encompassing early radio zinc disks, shellac 78" gramophone records, vinyl records, and reels. This experience deepened my understanding of the historical and cultural dimensions of radio broadcasting in Sri Lanka, tracing its roots back to 1923, a mere three years after Britain's groundbreaking first live public radio broadcast. Motivated by the rich history unveiled during this visit, my proposed research aims to critically examine the materiality of shellac records and their connections to colonial narratives, contributing to the broader discourse on media, colonialism, and cultural history.
I also wish to draw your attention to my forthcoming book, titled "Harmonies and Injustices: The Resonance of Racism in British Music History." As a musicologist and dedicated activist, my work explores the intricate relationships between musical legends, influential platforms, and the issue of racial injustice. In a specific chapter of the book, I delve into the intersection of race and music, focusing on British Bands, Record Labels and the BBC. The contextualization of British India, particularly Colombo in Sri Lanka during Queen Elizabeth's historic visit to the SLBC in 1954, adds depth to our understanding of how colonial tensions shaped the evolution of music and influenced wider societal discourse. Moreover, the book pays homage to artists and musicians of the Windrush generation, recognizing their often-overlooked contributions to the music industry. This dedication underscores the importance of acknowledging pioneers who defied adversity and pushed the boundaries of what was possible, aligning with the values of inclusivity and equity that I aim to explore in my proposed doctoral research.
My interdisciplinary background, coupled with my research experiences and contributions to "Harmonies and Injustices," positions me as a candidate devoted to advancing knowledge in the field of musicology. I am eager to bring my passion for exploring the intersections of music, colonialism, and race to the academic community.