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the world of music 49, 2007-1

Indigenous Peoples, Recording Techniques, and the Recording Industry

Editor: Max-Peter Baumann
Co-Editor: Jonathan P. J. Stock
Guest Editor: Karl Neuenfeldt

Articles

Karl Neuenfeldt
Notes on the Engagement of Indigenous Peoples with Recording Technology and Techniques, the Recording Industry and Researchers

Beverly Diamond
“Allowing the Listener to Fly as They Want to”: Sámi Perspectives on Indigenous CD Production in Northern Europe

Åse Ottosson
“We’re Just Bush Mob”: Producing Aboriginal Music and Maleness in a Central Australian Recording Studio

Brian Diettrich
Across All Micronesia and Beyond: Innovation and Connections in Chuukese Popular Music and Contemporary Recordings

Karl Neuenfeldt
“Bring the Past to Present”: Recording and Reviving Rotuman Music via a Collaborative Rotuman / Fijian/Australian CD Project

Katelyn Barney
Sending a Message: How Indigenous Australian Women use Contemporary Music Recording Technologies to Provide a Space for Agency, Viewpoints and Agendas

Dan Bendrups
Easter Island Music and the Voice of Kiko Pate: A Biographical History of Sound Recording

Denis Crowdy
Studios at Home in the Solomon Islands: A Case Study of Homesound Studios, Honiara

James E. Cunningham
The Nammys Versus the Grammys: Celebrity, Technology, and the Creation of an Indigenous Music Recording Industry in North America

Jeniffer Cattermole
“Fiji Blues?”: Taveuni and Qamea Musicians’ Engagements with Recording Technologies

 

Book Reviews (Helena Simonett, ed.)

Meilu Ho
Judith Becker, Deep Listeners: Music, Emotion, and Trancing

Wenwei Du
Jonathan P. J. Stock, Huju: Traditional Opera in Modern Shanghai

Carole Pegg
Theodore Levin, Where Rivers and Mountains Sing: Sound, Music, and Nomadism in Tuva and Beyond

Anthony Potoczniak
Timothy Cooley, Making Music in Polish Tatras: Tourists, Ethnographers, and Mountain Musicians

Eleanor T. Lipat
Dusadee Swangviboonpong, Thai Classical Singing: Its History, Musical Characteristics and Transmission

Melvin L. Butler
Karen E. Richman, Migration and Vodou

Rolf Groesbeck
Richard K. Wolf, The Black Cow’s Footprint: Time, Space, and Music in the Lives of the Kotas of South India

Steven Knopoff
Allan Marett, Songs, Dreamings, and Ghosts: The Wangga of North Australia

 

Recording Reviews (Dan Bendrups, ed.)

Barley Norton
A Review Essay on Recordings of Music from Vietnam

Robert G. H. Burns
Under the Leaves. Matlby, UK: Hallamshire Traditions

 

Abstracts

Notes on the Engagement of Indigenous Peoples with Recording Technology and Techniques, the Recording Industry and Researchers
Karl Neuenfeldt

The relationships between Indigenous peoples, recording technology and techniques, the recording industry and researchers have been evolving for over a century, as have concerns for key issues such as intellectual property, copyright, commercialisation and cultural protocols.1 As technology and techniques have changed so too has the nature of the relationships, although there are also continuities. This issue of the world of music focuses on some of those changes and continuities. The articles explore, describe and analyse examples of these current relationships as Indigenous peoples in Australia, Easter Island, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Northern Europe, North America and Solomon Islands engage with—and in some instances manipulate and subvert—recording technology and techniques and the recording industry. Also surveyed are the roles of researchers involved in collaborative projects.

“Allowing the Listener to Fly as They Want to”: Sámi Perspectives on Indigenous CD Production in Northern Europe
Beverly Diamond

Since the Saami cultural renaissance that began in the late 1970s, contemporary Saami recording artists have found ways to reflect traditional cultural values and practices in the recording studio. Many initially deny any relationship between live and studio work. Because the tradition of yoiking in a community setting is so reliant on audience feedback, the performance of a yoik without an audience is a particular challenge. In the studio, however, Saami musicians find ways to maintain the yoik’s ability to define relationships to people, places, and animals. They also exploit the studio to layer meanings, thus extending the yoik’s capacity for double entendre. This article reports on interviews with a number of producers and recording artists, including Ulla Pirtijarvi, Ursula Lansman, and Mari Boine. It focuses in particular on the studio work of Wimme Saari and Frode Fjellheim.

“We’re Just Bush Mob”: Producing Aboriginal Music and Maleness in a Central Australian Recording Studio
Åse Ottosson

Over the last sixty years, country, rock and reggae music have become important everyday expressive forms among Aboriginal people in Central Australia. In this particular socio-musical scene, these forms of music have emerged as an almost exclusively male activity. The recording studio of the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association in Alice Springs likewise continues to constitute a socio-musical space dominated by Aboriginal men from diverse backgrounds. This paper explores the ways in which the musicians and studio workers assert and negotiate a diverse range of ancestral and more recent local and global forms of accumulating male respect and status as they work with each other in the professional and technological regimes of this studio. In the process they reproduce as well as rework their distinctive and shared sense of worth as Aboriginal music makers and men.

Across All Micronesia and Beyond: Innovation and Connections in Chuukese Popular Music and Contemporary Recordings
Brian Diettrich
Today in Chuuk State, part of the Federated States of Micronesia, due to increasing access to music and digital technology, the production of popular music flourishes. Formerly, in the 1980s, popular music consisted mostly of locally made tape recordings of performances. Since the 1990s, however, Islanders have increasingly made use of computers and compact disks to access and distribute the latest popular hits. The demand for popular CDs in Chuuk, usually of love songs and well-liked church songs, is not only propelled by access to technology in Chuuk, but is strongly influenced by large populations of Chuukese in Guam and Hawaii, as well as the U.S. mainland. Contemporary popular music performance for Chuukese serves as a means of connecting the experiences of transnational communities across the space of the Pacific and beyond.

“Bring the Past to Present”: Recording and Reviving Rotuman Music via a Collaborative Rotuman/Fijian/Australian CD Project
Karl Neuenfeldt
This paper explores a recording project that led to CDs documenting Rotuman musical performances and music practice in Suva, Fiji. The project was a collaboration between the Rotuman diasporic community, the Oceania Centre for the Arts and Culture at the University of the South Pacific and a music-based researcher from Australia. It uses description, analysis and ethnographies to explore the role of digital technologies; the role and evolution of music in diasporic communities in Australia and Fiji; the benefits and challenges of collaborative transnational musical research projects; and the role of music researchers as music producers.

Sending a Message: How Indigenous Australian Women use Contemporary Music Recording Technologies to Provide a Space for Agency, Viewpoints and Agendas
Katelyn Barney

Home studios, local small scale recording studios and the Internet provide an important space for many Indigenous Australian women performers to enact agency in deciding how their music will sound. They enjoy creative freedom and individual expression in producing recordings of their music. With reference to discourse on women and music technology, this article examines how recording practices provide the tools with which Indigenous Australian women performers raise awareness of political and social justice issues, which affect Indigenous Australians. Conclusions will be drawn regarding the ways recording technologies and the recording studio functions in this context as a space to create music that is sending a message of confidence, social power, control, and agency.

Easter Island Music and the Voice of Kiko Pate: A Biographical History of Sound Recording
Dan Bendrups

This article provides a history of sound recording on Easter Island (Rapanui) through the biography of Rapanui master musician Luis Avaka “Kiko” Pate. Albums of Rapanui music began to appear internationally in the 1970s in the form of field recordings produced by outsider ethnographers and commercial recordings by amateur enthusiasts. In the following decades, Rapanui musicians developed their own interests in sound recording, and many musicians are now fluent in music production processes. Throughout this history of production, Kiko Pate has played an unparalleled role in determining the ways in which perceived traditional music forms are remembered and recorded. The conceptualisation of tradition has become a defining feature of Rapanui culture in the twenty-first century, and the performances and recordings of new generations of musicians owe much of their success to the earlier revitalisation efforts of Kiko Pate. His role in this recording history is, however, not immediately apparent because all of the extant recordings featuring Kiko Pate’s distinctive voice are the result of outsider research and production emphasize exotic content over performer identity. Through the medium of biography, this article reveals Kiko Pate’s presence in Rapanui sound recording history and illuminates many of the factors contributing to the contemporary understanding of music and tradition on Rapanui.

Studios at Home in the Solomon Islands: A Case Study of Homesound Studios, Honiara
Denis Crowdy

The music industry of the Solomon Islands exists essentially outside the transnational Anglophone and European music industries. Piracy of overseas and local material is rampant, and artists are often at the mercy of companies in control of all parts of the recording and distribution process. This article presents a case study exploring the role of a “grassroots” home studio in a regionally insular yet vibrantly commercial scene. It also explores ways musicians manage their careers in this environment, the impact of Chinese mercantile interests and issues of copyright. The case study is ethnographic in nature, drawing upon musicians’ perspectives on the role of recording technology and the recording industry in their region.

The Nammys Versus the Grammys: Celebrity, Technology, and the Creation of an Indigenous Music Recording Industry in North America
Jamie Cunningham

The Native American Music Awards, N.A.M.A., was founded as a showcase for Native American “people and youth” from “the four directions.” Patterned after the annual Grammy Music Awards, the organization’s annual Nammy awards ceremony is a prime opportunity for contemporary Native American musicians to present themselves as a unified industry. Since its inception in 1998, approximately thirty awards have been presented annually to artists, songwriters, and producers in a wide variety of popular, traditional, and historical categories. The annual ceremonies also include the presentation of Lifetime Achievement, Humanitarian, and Hall of Fame Awards. Using the Eighth Annual Native American Music Awards, held June 8, 2006 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, as a locus for investigation, this article explores how the Nammys incorporate celebrity and technology as an important means for the establishment of an indigenized music recording industry.

“Fiji Blues?”: Taveuni and Qamea Musicians’ Engagements with Recording Technologies
Jennifer Cattermole

This article explores and discusses indigenous Fijian’s (i taukei) engagement with the recording industry and recording technologies more generally. It focuses specifically on bands from Taveuni and the neighboring island of Qamea. They are used as case studies to examine the role of recording technologies in small island cultures. There are no recording studios on either but in the past, the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation recorded bands on Taveuni using a mobile recording unit. Due to the prohibitive cost of journeying to recording studios, it is mainly the resort bands (funded by resort owners) who have been recorded, as well as some recordings made by visiting tourists and musicians. The Taveuni and Qamea musicians’ experiences of being recorded, the distribution of their recordings, the negotiation of commercial arrangements between themselves and resort management and tourists are analyzed, along with the recording relationships between musicians and a music researcher.

 

 

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