“I really wanted to explore this very underground music scene and its base following in the United Kingdom,” he said.
“It’s so amazing to me the variety of projects we get each year,” she said.
Though Cooper stayed in London, he said there are similar emerging music scenes in the United Kingdom.
“If I had to rank them, I’d say London first, then Bristol, and then Manchester,” Cooper said.
Cooper can explain the intricate differences between the music in Bristol and Manchester, but London’s music is his favorite.
“London is such an amazing city,” said Cooper. “I met great people and overall had a good time.”
Cooper’s mother, Lisa Cooper, has always been supportive of her son’s endeavors.
“Even though he just told me that he was going to London one day, I didn’t want to stop him,” she said. “I’m supportive of my son’s passions and projects.”
Austin Cooper needed to prepare a final one-page overview of his project and a three-slide PowerPoint presentation upon his return to the United States to receive the full grant.
But he went further. He finished a 12-page essay about his time in London and the music he studied that he hopes to get published.
“There are lots of cool and similar scenes in other cities, even in the United States,” he said.
Montreal and New York City are the two cities in which he’s the most interested.
“Brooklyn is a great city,” Austin Cooper said. “Its underground scene is the most similar to London’s.”
Though the club music scene has spread all over the world, Cooper most appreciates its tight-knit atmosphere.
In an underground music movement, there is a certain level of intimacy, he said.
“It’s amazing how all sorts of outside differences can disappear in something so simple as a shared musical interest.”
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The posters and screen prints made by local artist Ron Liberti are displayed in the Ackland Museum Store gallery.