22nd June 2015, 9:04am
International symposium celebrates the life and legacy of Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell A major international conference hosted by the University of Lincoln, UK, will bring together leading academics, music critics and fans to explore the far-reaching impact of legendary singer, musician and artist, Joni Mitchell.

Joni Mitchell is recognised as one of the most influential artists of all time, having sold millions of albums worldwide, being honoured with Billboard’s Century Award and securing a place in the coveted ‘Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’. When she received her Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002, she was described as "one of the most important female recording artists of the rock era" and "a powerful influence on all artists who embrace diversity, imagination and integrity”.

She is credited as the influence behind some of music’s biggest names, from Madonna and Taylor Swift, to Janet Jackson and Prince. However until now, her work has not received the same scholarly attention of many of her musical peers.

Taking place on Friday 3rd July 2015, Court and Spark: An international symposium on Joni Mitchell will attend to the artist as a figure worthy of sustained critical thought and appreciation. The symposium will welcome some of the world’s leading authorities on the singer, including the author of Joni Mitchell – Both Sides Now, Malka Marom.

Malka Marom is an acclaimed writer, singer and TV presenter, as well as an award-winning documentary writer and producer. She began her career as a folksinger in the popular duo Malka & Joso, who were the first to bring world music to Canada, and as a soloist she performed around the globe. As a radio broadcaster and documentary maker she profiled Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen among others.

She was first invited to interview Joni Mitchell in 1973, and conversations continued over the next four decades as the two built up a mutual friendship and respect. Their last recorded interview took place in 2012, and Malka’s new book presents an intimate exploration of Joni Mitchell's life and art, based on these candid exchanges.

Malka will be in conversation with conference organiser Dr Ruth Charnock at 6:30pm on Friday 3rd July. The Q&A session, which takes place in the University’s Minerva Building, will be followed by a book signing, hosted in collaboration with Waterstones Lincoln. Both the talk and the one-day symposium are open to the public.

Dr Charnock, Lecturer in the School of English & Journalism at the University of Lincoln, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming such great and diverse speakers from around the world to our symposium. Joni Mitchell’s work has had a momentous impact on so many lives, but this represents one of the first opportunities for the academic community to really celebrate her musical and cultural significance.”

The Court and Spark symposium will include a number of panel discussions involving 25 international speakers, who will explore topics such as the images of freedom, travel and liberation within Joni’s work. Among the speakers will be celebrated French artist Jacques Benoit; BACP Senior Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist with 48 years of knowledge of the work of Joni Mitchell Anita Gabrielle Tedder; and Professor Peter Coviello from the University of Illinois, Chicago.

For more information and to book your place at the symposium and the Q&A and book signing with Malka Marom, visit: www.courtandsparksymposium.wordpress.com.

Registration for the whole day, which includes lunch and the Q&A session, is £50 and £25 for concessions. Registration for the Malka Marom event only is £10.
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