Noise as a transcultural network

Data: 23/03/2018 11:00

Organitza: Grup d'Etnomusicologia de l'ICA

4a sessió dels Col·loquis d'Etnomusicologia

A càrrec de David Novak

Lloc: Sala Fontserè de l'Institut d'Estudis Catalans, carrer del Carme 47, Barcelona.

This paper considers experimental music networks — from the transnational circulations of Noise music to a recent local boom in “circuit-bending” and analog synthesis — focal points for the emergence of neoliberal subjects in the recent geopolitical “pivot to Asia.” The emergence of local entrepreneurial “maker spaces” of “DIY” engineering in East and Southeast Asia run counter to views of Asian popular culture as purely imitative of Western forms (e.g. K-pop, J-pop). These networks “recenter” historical processes of globalization (Iwabuchi 2002) by generating new practices of creative work that repurpose electronic music technologies toward a new transcultural creative circuit. In recent years, the connective networks of circuit-bending, hacking, and Noise electronics have begun to bump up against “Eurorack” synthesizer formats, and a consumer discourse based in models of individuated creativity. Connecting my past work on the feedback loops of Japanoise with recent ethnographic fieldwork among circuit-benders and synth-builders in Indonesia, I reveal the discourses of Noise’s experimentalism as both an intervention into narrow Euro-American timescales of music-technological innovation, and a mode of transcultural exchange.

David Novak is Associate Professor of Music at the University of California, Santa Barbara, with affiliations in Anthropology, Film and Media Studies, and East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies. He is the author of the award-winning Japanoise: Music at the Edge of Circulation (2013) and the co-editor of Keywords in Sound (2015), as well as recent essays and sound recordings in Public Culture, Cultural Anthropology, AQ, Popular Music, Sensory Studies, and The Wire. His current research explores the recent emergence of trans-Asian networks of experimental music, as well the recording studio as a context for globalizing musical practices.  

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