Prof. Barbara Titus will deliver a lecture at the Center for Ethnomusicology at Columbia University on 23 January 2020 entitled, “Sonic Entanglements on Tour: Visiting Colonial Sound Archives in the Early Twenty-First Century”.

In this presentation, Dr. Barbara Titus will report on a sound archive tour through Europe in September 2019 by historians, performance scholars, (ethno)musicologists and anthropologists from Southeast Asia and Europe. During our collective visits of sound archives in Hilversum (Beeld en Geluid), Amsterdam (Jaap Kunst Collectie), Berlin (Phonogrammarchiv, Lautarchiv Humboldt) and Vienna (Phonogrammarchiv), we contemplated and scrutinized 1.) the implications of sound being captured in colonial Southeast Asia and transported to colonial metropoles in Europe, and 2.) the ways in which these objectified sounds and their organization as “collections” provide as well as deny affordances to listeners, musicians and scholars in cultural, musical and scholarly constellations today.

She will present the team’s contemplations in dialogue with recent attempts to excavate decolonial and anti-colonial agency from colonial archives (Moreno 2016, Edwards 2016, Steingo & Sykes 2019) and to reanimate the captured voices that have been sonically embalmed for so many decades (Schmelzer 2016, Goh 2017, Mundy 2019). Following this presentation she would like to invite discussion about the implications of her being the individual narrator of this story about the team’s collective tour.

More information about the tour and the participants:

The lecture will be held at 701C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusicology) at 4:00PM-6:00PM. The event is free and open to all. Reception will follow.

For more information regarding the lecture please visit the Columbia University – Center for Ethnomusicology webpage.

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