Planned Issues

 

The following issues of the world of music (new series) are forthcoming. Issue #1 of a given volume is scheduled to appear in June, issue #2 is scheduled to appear in December.

 


.:: the world of music (new series) Volume 7, Issue 1 & 2 (2018)
Sharing space? Sharing culture? Applied experiments in music-making across borders

 

.:: the world of music (new series) Volume 8, Issue 1 (2019)
Dwelling in musical movement: Making a home in and through music


 

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.:: Content of the Forthcoming Issues

 

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.:: Sharing space? Sharing culture? Applied experiments in music-making across borders
the world of music (new series) Volume 7, Issue 1 & 2 (2018)

 

Guest Editors: Rachel Harris & Abigail Wood

 

Abstract
This special issue considers the nature of the work done in ‘applied’ music workshops, projects and performances that seek to ‘create bridges’ across cultures, to bring participants from different communities into ‘shared spaces’, and to highlight shared heritage across musical and political borders. What agendas are privileged, and what forms of representation are entailed? What kinds of sharing take place within university-based ensembles, collaborative performances and workshops, and what is the impact of such initiatives beyond the obvious musical and social exchange that transpires in these spaces? A decade ago, in Performing Ethnomusicology (ed. Solis 2004), various ethnomusicologists presented the perceptions and projections surrounding university “world music” ensembles. While student practitioners and ensemble directors endeavoured to faithfully represent the traditions they were studying, few of them framed their praxis in terms of activism, collaboration, or the political de-centering inherent in embodied learning. We explore these issues via a series of diverse case studies, considering them from the perspectives of the various actors involved. We argue that within performance and teaching contexts, music-making may serve as a way of deconstructing conventional narrative and authority. Performing knowledge through non-rhetorical means produces contrasting ways of understanding political and historical experience by inviting a multiplicity of competing voices and interpretations. Embodied learning provides useful ways to explore the cognitive dissonance that is a daily experience for people living in contested zones. Careful attention to the experiences of audiences or participants can texture the understandings that either frame the arts in zones of conflict as purely resistant or purely 'harmonious'. We propose that embodied approaches have the potential to make our intellectual work more inclusive, and that musical collaborations may facilitate a kind of collaborative ethnography that transcends academic, language-based discourse, thus opening up new avenues for not just participatory research between artists and academics but also participatory critical thinking.

 

 

.:: Table of Contents

Taking Our Show on the (Silk) Road: The W&M MEME tours Morocco and Oman!
Anne Rasmussen

Sufis on the Silk Road: a Central Asia Reunion
Rachel Harris

From klezmer to dabkah in Haifa and Weimar: Revisiting disrupted histories in the key of D
Abigail Wood

#NoBordersTour. Världens Band: creating and performing music professionally across borders
Cassandre Balosso-Bardin

Forging transnational actor networks through performance of participatory action research: musical rehumanization for post-war Liberia
Michael Frishkopf

Cultural Engagement and Intercultural Musical Exchange in 'Songs of the Saints: Tamil Traditions and New Creativities'.
Jasmine Hornabrook

Resistance, Harmony and Dissonance in a Multicultural Lullaby Choir
Samantha Dieckmann and Jane Davidson

Reviving the Mukhammas: collaborative composition on long metric cycles across the Iranian-Tajik divide
Saeid Kordmafi

 

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.:: Individual Paper Abstracts

 

Taking Our Show on the (Silk) Road: The W&M MEME tours Morocco and Oman!
Anne Rasmussen

As a research method, the practice of music, our version of the anthropologist’s participant observation, is essential to the way we come to understand the music and the people we eventually represent through presentation and publication. More than just the key to unlock the secret doors of discourse, I have long considered the practice and performance of Arab music to be a methodology for both my fieldwork and teaching.  “Performing in the field” facilitates exchange in non-linguistic fields and has provided my hosts a view into my personhood that transcends or complements my professional persona. On campus, in the classroom, and among the community, my performance constitutes activism.  The Middle Eastern Music Ensemble that I founded in 1994 has been a context for exploration, exchange, and experience among students, faculty, and invited guest artists, that, when shared through public performance, evinces a kind of unapologetic advocacy that has become central to my work.
This paper describes examples of community-based collaboration and activism through music that unfolded during my ensemble’s first two international study and performances tours, both of them in 2014, one to Oman, where I have continuing research interests and the other to Morocco, the research terrain of my colleague and long time collaborator.  While we were grateful for the cooperation and generosity of our hosts we were surprised at the ways in which our visit allowed our hosts to extend themselves in the production of public projects that may not have been possible without our participation. My analysis of six performances, three in Muscat, Oman, and one each in the Moroccan cities of Oujda, Rabat, and Marrakesh, Morocco resonates with the recent call by the SEM/ICTM Forum to “transform ethnomusicological praxis through activism and community engagement,” and asserts the ways in which our ethnographies are necessarily collaborative. 

Sufis on the Silk Road: a Central Asia Reunion
Rachel Harris

This paper takes as its topic a collaborative performance experiment now underway, which brings together Uyghur and Uzbek musicians in a UK university to explore musical repertoire across the borders of contemporary Uzbekistan and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. The focus is on repertoire that draws on the shared Central Asian ritual and literary traditions of Sufism. The project takes place in the context of wider engagement with the Aga Khan Music Initiative Central Asia projects, and current research on changing forms of Islamic belief and practice in the region. One defined aim is to provide a counter-narrative the exclusive, linear, nationalist views of culture engendered under Soviet rule and entrenched in the post-Soviet era, seeking continuities, shared repertoire, styles and techniques across borders.
In this region, national identities have long been hitched to forms of ‘song-and-dance’: musical traditions cleansed of their religious meanings and ritual contexts. As Islamists in the region proclaim their opposition to musical performance, viewing it as not only morally suspect but also as a tool of oppression. The project seeks to re-assert the value of the Sufi tradition, and to re-insert religious meaning into the music. Such a project is of course rich in potential for miscommunication, multiple interpretations and rival agendas. Where, for instance, Western music promoters delight in promoting Sufism as the acceptable, spiritual face of Islam, Central Asian nationalist views of Sufism tend to regard it as a destructive political force. The paper will attempt a multi-vocal reflection on the rehearsal process and public performance, in dialogue with fellow performers and audiences.

 

From klezmer to dabkah in Haifa and Weimar: Revisiting disrupted histories in the key of D
Abigail Wood

During the summer of 2017, a musically and culturally diverse group of fifteen young musicians from Haifa, Israel, and fifteen from Weimar, Germany, came together for ten days in each city to form the ‘Caravan Orchestra’, a new ensemble that sought to reopen lost musical connections between cognate Jewish, Arabic, and European repertories. Seeking to explore an 'often-overlooked historical, transnational cultural matrix' rooted in the long arc of the Ottoman empire, the Caravan project proved to be a wider voyage of discovery, in which a large group of stakeholders from two countries—ethnomusicologists, musicians, students, funders and institutions—explored what such a conversation might entail. Like many intensive musical projects, the Caravan Orchestra was a transformative experience for many of those involved, marked by the exhilaration of producing good music on a concert stage and validated by audience applause, dancing and ovations. Yet beyond aesthetic satisfaction, what kind of insights can such a project offer into the ‘disrupted musical histories’ that it seeks to explore? In this article, I explore this question via three elements of the Caravan experience: musicianship, repertory, and identities.

 

#NoBordersTour. Världens Band: creating and performing music professionally across borders
Cassandre Balosso-Bardin

Moving away from a university context, and within a framework of intercultural (ed. Burnard &co. 2016), performance (ed. Solis 2004) and social change (Baker 2014) studies, this article will explore the constant border negotiations of a professional international world music band, formed by thirteen musicians from seven countries: India, Senegal, Sweden, France, England and Scotland. Imagined as a utopian social experiment by two Swedish brothers in 2012, Världens Band (the World’s Band) quickly grew beyond the project phase and established itself as a group, performing self-branded ‘transglobal roots fusion’ music.
With six different nationalities and the will to create music that both reflects and transcends them, borders are a constant source of negotiation for the musicians in musical, political and touring contexts. Musically, the band chooses to represent a united ensemble featuring musicians rather than ‘countries’. Although each individual strongly represents his or her own tradition, rehearsals are a vital space where musical negotiation and collective arranging shape pieces, respecting both cultural backgrounds and the will to collaborate across borders. The inclusiveness message featured in the music becomes a strong yet consciously unvoiced political message on stage of an ideal world where multiculturalism is a strength rather than a divisive force. Politically, the band reinforced its inclusiveness message over time, namely during the 2015 refugee crisis that coincided with a 10-week tour branded ‘No Borders Tour’. Since, performing for schools and refugee audiences is fully integrated into their schedules with the ideology of counteracting the growing nationalist movements in Scandinavia and the rest of Europe. Off stage, borders continue to impact the musicians. Not only do visas have to be issued and frontiers crossed, sometimes unsuccessfully, there is also a constant cultural dialogue between the band members as they learn to understand each other. Verbal communication then becomes key and the leadership of the band manager becomes at times crucial as space is made for voicing opinions and thoughts, resulting in a better understanding of each individual. Through all these different aspects, Världens Band offers a platform for rethinking intercultural collaboration within a professional context, beyond the popular one-off projects or groups with a high turnover (see Hughes 2004).

Forging transnational actor networks through performance of participatory action research: musical rehumanization for post-war Liberia
Michael Frishkopf

The concept of “network” as a representation of social relationships provides a powerful paradigm for both positivist explanation and humanistic understanding, including applications to musical performances that seek to ‘create bridges’ across cultures as forging affective music networks of mutual understanding. But, following Small’s generalization of “performance” to “musicking”, such networks need not be limited to face-to-face musical interactions, but may include also the social performances implicit in musical productions of applied ethnomusicology. In this article I outline a generalization of “music network” to conceptualize an applied ethnomusicology aiming to rehumanize the broader social network, centered on a case study: a project seeking to rehumanize relationships in post-war Liberia through music media catalyzing local and global understanding designed to counter the wrenching dehumanizations of that country’s extended civil war. Beyond explanation or understanding, I emphasize networks of musical participatory action research (PAR) as both methods for, and instances of, such positive social transformation. Further, whereas the network “actor” is typically either human (in “social network analysis”) or non-human (in much “network science”), I combine the two. Building on Latour’s revolutionary position that actor networks can link human and nonhuman realms, I explore also their intersection: music media as the “human nonhuman” and dehumanization as the “nonhuman human”. The article traces the iterative formation of a transnational PAR actor-network rooted in musical performance, gathering and connecting Liberian refugee musicians, an NGO, a university community, and the media themselves, ultimately constituting method, aim, and possible model for an applied ethnomusicology building bridges across cultures. Such networks not only facilitate a better world—they also embody it.


Cultural Engagement and Intercultural Musical Exchange in 'Songs of the Saints: Tamil Traditions and New Creativities'.

Jasmine Hornabrook

In this article, I explore the 'Songs of the Saints: Tamil Traditions and New Creativities' collaborative music project that took place in 2016 between London-based Carnatic, or South Indian classical, musicians, a composer specialising in Indian and European music and music students at Goldsmiths, University of London. The project involved workshops and rehearsals, followed by two performances at Goldsmiths and at the London Tamil Centre.
The collaboration used Tamil devotion song repertoire as a point of musical departure. As a song tradition widely sung in worship and in classical concerts, yet little known outside the Tamil Hindu community, the project became a way to shed light on a rich cultural practice in London, to exchange musical knowledge and to create connections between the university and a local music scene. This article explores the performance that resulted from this collaboration, which consisted of the songs performed in their usual musical setting by the Carnatic musicians, followed by the collaborative pieces. I address the creative decisions that took place in choosing the songs and musical structures and the process of translation, interpretation and musical sharing that ensued through the workshops and rehearsals. In particular, a process of 'dialogical editing' (Feld 2012) of the musical content took place between the composer, Francis Silkstone, and the Carnatic vocalist, Sarangan Kanakaratnam. As a result of working across musical 'borders', musical, social and cultural knowledge came about through this participation, particularly when embodied practices came into tension with others and when traditional musical roles, authorities and conventions were challenged.
For the participating musicians, in particular, the process of creating new musical settings for the songs they have sung since their youth provided an insight into interpreting and understanding the songs themselves, and their musical treatment, in different ways. Whilst such applied projects are challenging, they create spaces for musical and cultural understandings that may not otherwise be encountered. To understand the value of collaborations and knowledge-building, this article critically analyses, and reflects on, this space of intercultural musical exchange and the dialogical collaborative project (see Tchen 2006) to understand the impact of such ventures in higher education settings.

References
Feld, Steven. 2012. Sound and Sentiment: birds, weeping, poetics, and song in Kaluli expression, Durham: Duke University Press.
Tchen, John Kuo Wei. 2006. 'On Forming Dialogical-Analytic Collaborations: Curating Spaces Within/Between Universities and Communities' in Linda Martín Alcoff, Michael Hames-García, Satya P. Mohanty, And Paula M. L. Moya (eds.), Identity Politics Reconsidered, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
 

Resistance, Harmony and Dissonance in a Multicultural Lullaby Choir
Samantha Dieckmann and Jane Davidson

This article presents research findings from an ethnographic case study on a community choir entitled Lullabies of Our Lives. The amateur ensemble is an applied ethnomusicology initiative, involving a collaboration between The University of Melbourne, a not-for-profit community service agency New Futures Creative, and Victoria's peak multicultural arts organisation, Multicultural Arts Victoria. The choir is based in Coburg in Melbourne's north, a suburb which has recently seen clashes between anti-Islam and anti-racism protest groups. This heated local context, which embodies broader debates around Australia's immigration policies and the resurgence of ethno-nationalism, formed part of the impetus for the establishment of the ensemble, which aims to represent the harmony that can exist across cultural, linguistic and religious borders.
The ensemble was formed after a lullaby exchange which highlighted the genre’s emotional, nostalgic and cultural potency, and subsequent weekly rehearsals have involved individual members teaching lullabies from their homelands to their peer choristers. The teaching and learning of each other’s mother languages, singing styles and expressions of parenthood has had a marked effect on participants, and lullabies have proven an efficacious focal point for creating and sharing safe spaces. The song category draws attention to distinctive collective identities, while providing fertile ground for intercultural and interfaith exchange; across the world lullabies are used to soothe infants, and represent some of the earliest encounters with heritage music, language and culture.
However, attempts to democratise the learning space - not only through inclusive repertoire, but also through peer learning and informal pedagogical practices - have raised several questions pertinent to the project of applied ethnomusicology. This article will explore the tensions that separate the research, industry and community sectors, and how their competing agendas privilege particular forms of representation and conceptualisations of success. Issues related to the politics of participation, the decontextualisation of traditional musical practices, and cultural appropriation, authenticity and authority, will also be examined.


Reviving the Mukhammas: collaborative composition on long metric cycles across the Iranian-Tajik divide
Saeid Kordmafi

My article aims to describe a few-week practical – theoretical process of composing two pieces inspired by thaqīl and mukhammas, the most obsolete compositional forms in the classical repertoire in Central Asia. My assistant, Farid Kheradmand, and I composed these pieces during fieldwork carried out in 2012 in Tajikistan. The research project was concerned with the rhythmic –metric system in the modern practice of Shashmaqam, and attempted to benefit both from music analysis and ethnographic fieldwork.
 In order to gain a proper understanding of the compositional style of mukhammas and thaqīl and as a participatory observation, we started composing two pieces under the supervision of our mentor, Abduvali Abdurashidov. Considering my analyses as well as our interviews with Abduvali about articulation rules of the forms, we set Iranian melodies on Central Asian metric cycles. The outcome seemed to Abduvali much more interesting than a purely research tool so that he recommended us to perform them in an upcoming event in the National Conservatory of Dushanbe, “Making Classical Music”.  We finally performed the pieces in the event in front of musicians and musicologists from the culture to which these compositional forms belong. It surprisingly became an obstreperous event filled with a lot of heated debates.
This investigation attempts to show the importance of music analysis and a specific form of participatory observation in music making across borders. It demonstrates how an academic dialogue between musicians from different classical music cultures may result in broadening theoretical- practical horizons of participants. This also aims to describe the challenges we faced while adapting to the structural requirements of the forms, which sometimes contradicted our aesthetic expectations and tendencies as Iranian musicians.  Additionally, the paper shows the process of reaching an agreement through a feedback loops which aesthetically satisfied both Abduvali and us.

 

 

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.:: the world of music (new series) Volume 8, Issue 1 (2019)
Dwelling in musical movement: Making a home in and through music


Guest editor: Barbara Titus

 

Abstract
This special issue encompasses contributions about aural perspectives towards the experience, notion and conceptualization of home(-making). It explores how homes are built, made, imagined, remembered and (re)created through any form of sonic and aural activity (such as speaking, praying, singing, playing, hearing, dreaming sound/home). How do people physically, emotionally and psychologically find or create their space in an auditory chaos (LaBelle)? In what ways do sounds tune bodies to places (Feld) and what does such a nexus between the material and the social tell us about the relational positions in space and time that these bodies assume through temporary sensory experience? Such perspectives emphatically include modes of sonically, aurally or musically understanding or knowing processes of home-making. The Deleuzian interpretation of home as a positioned resonance between self and the world, or Lefebvre’s analyses of social atunements and inscriptions of rhythm or pulse as temporary (re)organizations of space are possible points of departure here.

All these perspectives towards home-making are supposed to foreground the relational, immersive, and performative implications of home-making as much as its located, representational and material ones. A focus on sound also enables the contributors to problematize the concept of home. Sound, after all, passes through human and non-human bodies and goes through (cultural) borders between home and the world. Thus the private and the public become part of each other in a decidedly unhomely condition (Bhabha). Sometimes such conditions are managed through mutually relational acts of renewed home-making, at other times through unidirectional and violent acts of domestication – patterned vibrations can colonize a milieu, and claim it as a territory of exclusivity or exile.

 

 

.:: Table of Contents

Dwelling in and through Music: Musical Modes of Being in the World
Birgit Abels

When the Listener Becomes a Walker. Remembering and Imagining on a Herdsman’s Mountain Path in the Karakoram Range, Pakistan
Thibault Fontanari

Dwelling through instruments: Gender, home and the Palestinian oud
Rachel Beckles Willson

Cracking the code: Sonic attunements on tour and on stage
Anna Lisa Ramella

 

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.:: Individual Paper Abstracts


Dwelling in and through Music: Musical Modes of Being in the World
Birgit Abels

In spite of significant advances in both the fields of music epistemology and the theory of knowledge, the mind–body dichotomy continues to have a substantial impact on the way human beings are imagined in the North Atlantic intellectual tradition: as subjects that form a “seat of awareness, bounded by the skin, and set over against the world” (Ingold [2000] 2011: 243). This, however, raises the fundamental problem of perception, usually referred to as the “mind–body problem”: How can anything ‘cross over’ from the outside to the inside, from the world to the mind? Or, the other way around, if the mind is immaterial and the world is material, how can the mind possibly carve out a home in the world? But musical experience crosses the boundaries of these taken-for-granted ontological categories. Resonating with both discursive and non-discursive frames, musicking (Small 1998) transcends the binaries of mind–body, inside–outside and immateriality–materiality by way of its experiential quality; at the same time, it relates to both parts of the presumed dichotomies. Thus, through musicking, an in-between space arises, where a specifically and intrinsically musical mode of human dwelling in the world exists (cf. Vadén and Torvinen 2014).
Recasting the role of musicking in making a home in the world, in this contribution I shall frame the dynamics of dwelling in and through music in terms of the experiential, the moving and the felt-bodily.


When the Listener Becomes a Walker. Remembering and Imagining on a Herdsman’s Mountain Path in the Karakoram Range, Pakistan
Thibault Fontanari

This article aims to discuss how the herdsmen of the Karakoram Range imagine and remember through walking and singing. Remembering is intimately related to their walk on the mountain paths towards the pastures. At the time of their construction, these paths are named after a deceased or an elder and become thereby prayer and remembrance places. The person for whom the path is built is sometimes praised in a song. These songs tell the story of a herdsman's journey and emphasize the exemplary actions he made such as facing a storm, leading a herd or crossing a cold river. The paper attempts to consider singing and walking as two related ways by which people remember the exemplary actions of a herdsman and by which they imagine their future in the world. As walking lead to remembering and imagining through the rhythm of the walk, singing lead to remembering and imagining by the rhythm of the song.  The walk and the song are two specific space-time though which people dwell in the world. Here we understand dwelling in the perspective drawn by Ingold as the way by which people are entangled with the others and the affordances of their surroundings in a direct perception. To achieve this goal, the article focus on the path of Muhammad made in the sixties and the song his son made in his honor, dedicating it to his nephew called by the name of his grandfather. First we will examine what people say about the construction of this pathway, second what they say about what they feel when they walk on it, and third how the song praising Muhammad invites the listener to become a walker.

 

Dwelling through instruments: Gender, home and the Palestinian oud
Rachel Beckles Willson

In this article I demonstrate that the assemblage created by an instrument and its player can function as a mechanism of musical home-making in both the intimate Deleuzian sense, and the public political sense of representing a homeland. I build on recent scholarship dedicated to the power of instruments, including the technics of performing bodies (De Souza 2017, Moseley 2015) and the agency of instruments in society (Bates 2012). I also draw on foundational work examining the gendering of musical practice with instruments (Doubleday 2008, Stobart 2008), and sensorial approaches to concepts of assemblage (Hamilakis 2014). My article will start with a theoretical discussion in which I address ways in which the assemblage of player-plus-instrument coheres as a home even as it crosses between private and public spheres and is subject to varying power regimes, creating, transforming and breaking affective territorial networks with its resonances.  I will also present a case study of the work of Palestinian musician Kamilya Jubran, who has unsettled numerous conventional expressions of both homeland and home in her work as composer, co-composer and oud player/vocalist in Europe since 2000. Today the oud is associated strongly with expressions of masculinity in the public sphere, as well as general notions of ‘the Arab nation’, and also the (apparently lost) homelands of Palestine and Iraq, more recently Syria. Through close-listening to Jubran’s compositions and analysis of a film about her work, I will argue that her assemblage embodies a counter-resonance, and offers a counter-narrative, in discussions about making or recovering ‘home’. ‘Home’, through the mediation of this female oud player, can be heard assimultaneously an intimate domestic space and a geopolitically-defined place, and also as an idea at the juncture of the colonial and the indigenous.


Cracking the code: Sonic attunements on tour and on stage
Anna Lisa Ramella

This article explores the significance of the musical performance and its sonic environment for musicians on the move as a process of attuning. Based on fieldwork on tour with rock bands, I will discuss practices of tuning instruments and sound-checking as well as the performance itself as constituents of dwelling and place-making on the move. Considering the notions of rhythm and pulse, the article will trace the eventual achievement of flow - a condition that has been referred to by the participants of my research as "cracking the code“. Dwelling in alternating environments challenges concepts of home or place, inscribing categories of stillness in the very experience of travel and movement. For most musicians, it is the musical performance that teaches them how to coexist in the tightly arranged space and time frames provided for them on tour - it is at the core of their practices in establishing familiarity and stability. In this article, I will particularly draw out how the sonic environment of practices that are connected to the performance – setting up, sound-checking, and eventually playing a show – build a familiar and homely atmosphere. I will do so by revisiting audio-visual material of the tour as well as extensive conversations with musicians on their experience of making music. The performance often serves as a reference for social, spatial and temporal situations on tour and attributes meaning to both place and travel. Traveling, then, becomes a search for a rhythm, similar to the experience of collectively composing a song. Ruptures appear as arhythmic elements of an overall, collective rhythmic endeavour within which the musicians unfold place- and sound-making practices that are routinized yet subject to constant attunement (Ingold/Vergunst 2008). I will consider the notions of rhythm and attunement as connecting elements between the experiences of music and movement.

 

 

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