How do we decolonize colonial sound archives? How do open colonial archives to horizontal accessibilities? How is the discourse in sound knowledges and sonic practices controlled by who has access to its archiving? How can we open decolonial discourses of sonic epistemologies through transfers of access and agency? These questions animate the scholarship, archival interventions, and community outreach projects of the Sonic Entanglements project led by meLê yamomo and funded by the Dutch Research Council. 

For its last initiative, Sonic Entanglements brings together archivists, scholars, and stakeholders of Southeast Asian sound archives to discuss issues of repatriating and reconnecting sound heritage with their communities. Sound and media scholar Jonathan Sterne (2003) calls sound media resonant tombs where the voices of the dead reside. meLê yamomo (2021) argues that sound archives are cemeteries of deceased sounds—removed from the communities that keep them alive through collective memory. In the next two weeks, Sonic Returns reframes the question: Are these recorded voices, music, and sound cultures just in exile, waiting for their return to their communities?  

In this series of archival encounters, lectures, and panel discussions at the BBC/British Library, SOAS, CNRS France, Jaap Kunst Ethnomusicology Collection, Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, Berlin Phonogram Archive, Sound Archive of Humboldt University-Berlin, Sonic Returns mediate in the repatriation of sounds on exile.  

Reports regarding the outcome of this project and updates will be shared on this page shortly. Please visit again soon.


Verne de la Peña (University of the Philippines Center for Ethnomusicology)  
Sol Trinidad (University of the Philippines Center for Ethnomusicology) 
Citra Aryandari (Institut Seni Indonesia Yogyakarta) 
Barbara Titus (Jaap Kunst Archive | DeCoSEAS) 
Layan Nijem (Jaap Kunst Archive | DeCoSEAS) 
Cristina Juan (London – SOAS | DeCoSEAS) 
Dana Rappoport (CNRS, France | DeCoSEAS) 
Josephine Simmonot (CNRS, France | DeCoSEAS) 
Pierre Proteau (CNRS, France | DeCoSEAS)
Albrecht Wiedmann (Berlin Phonogrammarchiv)
Rosa Cordero Castillo (Humboldt University of Berlin, Philippine Studies-Berlin)
Stefanie Alisch (Dept. of Musicology, Humboldt University of Berlin)

Organized and curated by meLê yamomo (Project Leader, NWO-Sonic Entanglements | Decolonizing Southeast Asian Sound Archives) 


Click on the city name to view the poster

LondonArchival Visit:  
British Library/BBC
Sound Collection University of London SOAS  
25 October | 19:00-21:00 

RB01, SOAS Main Building
SOAS University of London
10 Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square,
London WC1H 0XG
Lecture and Panel Discussion   
Paris Archival Visits:
Music Collection – Musée Quai Branly 
The Bibliothèque nationale de France 
Center for Research in Ethnomusicology – CNRS
28 October | 10:00-22:00

Salle 327 CASE/EHESS
(Campus Condorcet),
2 cours des humanités, Aubervilliers (M. Front Populaire)
Lecture and Panel Discussion  
AmsterdamArchival Visits: 
The Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision 
Jaap Kunst Archive  
1 November | 16:00-18:00

University Theatre 
University of Amsterdam  
Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16,
1012CP Amsterdam
Lecture and Panel Discussion  
Berlin Archival Visits: 
Berlin Phonogrammarchiv
Lautarchiv der Humboldt Universität zu Berlin  
4 November | 18:00-20:00

Room 501 
Department of Musicology and Media Studies 
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin 
Am Kupfergraben 5, 10117 Berlin
Panel Discussion   

This project is made possible through the support of:
The Dutch Research Council (NWO)
NWO Veni Project: Sonic Entanglements
EU-JPICH Project: Decolonizing Southeast Asian Sound Archives (DeCoSEAS)
University of London-SOAS
CNRS-CASE (Center for Southeast Asian Studied) Paris
Department of Music Studies – University of Amsterdam
The Netherlands Insitute for Sound and Vision
Advancing Philippine Studies at HU Berlin
The Berlin Phonogram Archive
Department of Musicology and Media Studies – Humboldt University of Berlin
Berlin Ethnomusicology and Anthropology of Music Research Group