Sound Ties, ‘Rising from the Depths of Brine and Regions of Fire Deeper Still’: Knowing through Popular Music in the Western Pacific Island World
Issue: Vol 8 No. 2 (2021)
Journal: Journal of World Popular Music
Pacific Indigenous scholars have long emphasized the role of relationality for Pacific Islanders’ epistemologies. In this article, the author rethinks music in terms of the procedural knowledge inherent in and specific to popular music-making by exploring the latter as knowledge practices in Micronesia. This approach opens new vistas on the relationality at the heart of Western Pacific music-making. The author calls the musical manifestation of that relational capacity sound ties, suggesting that if, following Epeli Hau‘ofa, Oceania is “humanity rising from the depths of brine”, then it is not least the sound ties of knowing in and through music that mould that very humanity of people who are at home with the sea into aquapelagic assemblages that are, after all, so much more than water and land.
Author: Birgit Abels
Abels, Birgit. 2008. Sounds of Articulating Identity: Tradition and Transition in the Music of Palau, Micronesia. Berlin: Logos.
Abels, Birgit. 2018. “Music, Affect and Atmospheres: Meaning and Meaningfulness in Palauan omengeredakl”. International Journal of Traditional Arts 2. http://tradartsjournal.org/index.php/ijta/article/view/16
Abels, Birgit. 2019. “Bodies in Motion: Music, Dance and Atmospheres in Palauan ruk”. In Music as Atmosphere: Collective Feelings and Affective Sounds, edited by Friedlind Riedel and Juha Torvinen, 166–83. London: Routledge.
Allen, Helen G. 1994. Kalākaua: Renaissance King. Honolulu: Mutual Publishing.
Aluli Meyer, Manulani. 2003. “Our Own Liberation: Reflections on Hawaiian Epistemology”. The Contemporary Pacific 13/1: 124–48. https://doi.org/10.1353/cp.2001.0024
Baldacchino, Godfrey. 2008. “Studying Islands: On Whose Terms? Some Epistemological and Methodological Challenges to the Pursuit of Island Studies”. Island Studies Journal 3/1: 37–56.
Carr, James R. 2014. Hawaiian Music in Motion. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Casey, Edward S. 1996. “How to Get from Space to Place in a Fairly Short Stretch of Time: Phenomenological Prolegomena”. In Senses of Place, edited by Steven Feld and Keith Basso, 13–52. Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press.
Chow, Evelyn T. 2018. “The Sovereign Nation of Hawai’i: Resistance in the Legacy of ‘Aloha ‘Oe’”. SUURJ: Seattle University Undergraduate Research Journal 2, Article 15: 104–117. https://scholarworks.seattleu.edu/suurj/vol2/iss1/15
Diettrich, Brian. 2016. “Virtual Micronesia: Performance and Participation in a Pacific Facebook Community”. Perfect Beat 17/2: 52–70. https://doi.org/10.1558/prbt.v17i1.28841
Diettrich, Brian. 2018a. “‘Summoning Breadfruit’ and ‘Opening Seas’: Toward a Performative Ecology in Oceania”. Ethnomusicology 62/1: 1–27.
Diettrich, Brian. 2018b. “A Sea of Voices: Performance, Relations, and Belonging in Saltwater Places”. Yearbook for Traditional Music 50: 41–69.
Diettrich, Brian, Jane Freeman Moulin and Michael Webb. 2011. Music in Pacific Island Cultures. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
Elbert, Samuel H. and Noelani K. Māhoe. 1970. Nā mele o Hawaiʻi nei: 101 Hawaiian Songs. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
Escobar, Arturo. 2020. Pluriversal Politics: The Real and the Possible. Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press.
Feld, Steven. 1996. “Waterfalls of Song: An Acoustemology of Place Resounding in Bosavi, Papua New Guinea”. In Senses of Place, edited by Steven Feld and Keith H. Basso, 91–136. Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press.
Feld, Steven. 2017. “On Post-Ethnomusicology Alternatives: Acoustemology”. In Ethnomusicology or Transcultural Musicology?, edited by Francesco Giannattasio and Giovanni Guiriati, 82–98. Udine: Nota.
Geselbracht, Jim. n.d. Ouchacha [blog]. https://ouchacha.wordpress.com/category/friday-night-club/
Geselbracht, Jim. forthcoming. Adidil er a Klechibelau: Songs of Palau, 1915–1970. Manuscript in progress.
Gillespie, Kirsty. 2009. “Behind Every Tree? Ethnomusicology in Papua New Guinea”. In Musical Islands: Exploring Connections between Music, Place and Research, edited by Elizabeth Mackinlay, Brydie-Leigh Bartleet and Katelyn Barney, 20–32. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press.
Grydehøj, Adam. 2017. “A Future of Island Studies”. Island Studies Journal 12/1: 3–16.
Hau‘ofa, Epeli. 1993. “Our Sea of Islands”. In A New Oceania: Rediscovering Our Sea of Islands, edited by Eric Waddell, Vijay Naidu and Epeli Hau‘ofa, 2–16. Suva: University of the South Pacific.
Hau‘ofa, Epeli. 2008. We Are the Ocean: Selected Works. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
Hayward, Philip. 2012. “Aquapelagos and Aquapelagic Assemblages: Towards an Integrated Study of Island Societies and Marine Environments”. Shima: The International Journal of Research into Island Cultures 6/1: 1–11.
Hereniko, Vilsoni. 2000. “Indigenous Knowledge and Academic Imperialism”. In Remembrance of Pacific Pasts: An Invitation to Remake History, edited by Robert Borofsky, 78–91. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
Ingersoll, Karin A. 2016. Waves of Knowing: A Seascape Epistemology. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Ingold, Tim. 2011. Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description. New York: Routledge.
Ismaiel-Wendt, Johannes. 2011. Tracks’n’treks: Populäre Musik und Postkoloniale Analyse. Münster: Unrast.
Jolly, Margaret. 2001. “On the Edge? Deserts, Oceans, Islands”. The Contemporary Pacific 13/2: 417–66.
Kaeppler, Adrienne L., Peter R. Crowe, David Goldsworthy, Don Niles, Kim Poole, Jay W. Junker, Robin Ryan, Kathleen R. Oien, Ioannis Psathas, Herbert Patten, Ryūichi Tai, Michael Webb and Mark Puryear. 1998. “Popular Music”. In The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music vol. 9: Australia and the Pacific Islands, edited by Adrienne L. Kaeppler and J. W. Love, 126–71. New York: Garland.
King, John. 2007. “Nalu Music – Aloha ‘Oe”. http://www.nalu-music.com/?page_id=93
Konishi, Junko, ed. 2014. Utahong. 50 Selected Derrebechesiil. Japanese-influenced Palauan Songs. Naha: Faculty of Music, Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts.
Kovach, Margaret. 2009. Indigenous Methodologies: Characteristics, Conversations, and Contexts. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Kovach, Margaret. 2010. “Conversational Method in Indigenous Research”. First Peoples Child & Family Review 5/1: 40–48.
Mignolo, Walter. 2009. “Geopolitics of Sensing and Knowing. On (De)Coloniality, Border Thinking, and Epistemic Disobedience”. Transversal 8. http://eipcp.net/transversal/0112/mignolo/en
Nadarajah, Yaso and Adam Grydehøj. 2016. “Island Studies as a Decolonial Project”. Island Studies Journal 11/2: 437–46.
Parmentier, Richard J. 1987. The Sacred Remains: Myth, History, and Polity in Belau. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Perez, Craig Santos. 2016. “New Pacific Islander Poetry [Introduction]”. Poetry 208/4: 373–77.
Pugh, Jonathan. 2013. “Island Movements: Thinking with the Archipelago”. Island Studies Journal 8/1: 9–24.
Santos, Boaventura De Sousa. 2008. Another Knowledge Is Possible: Beyond Northern Epistemologies. London and New York: Verso.
Stratford, Elaine, Godfrey Baldacchino, Elizabeth McMahon, Carol Farbotko and Andrew Harwood. 2011. “Envisioning the Archipelago”. Island Studies Journal 6/2: 113–30.
Tanabe, Hisao. 1978. The Music of Micronesia, the Kao-shan Tribes of Taiwan, and Sakhalin (1934, 1922, 1923). Toshiba Records TW-80011.
Tatar, Elizabeth. 1985. Call of the Morning Bird: Chants and Songs of Palau, Yap, and Ponape, Collected by Iwakichi Muranushi, 1936. Honolulu: Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum.
Teaiwa, Katerina. 2020. “On Decoloniality: A View from Oceania”. Postcolonial Studies 23. https://doi.org/10.1080/13688790.2020.1751429
Thomas, Allan, Peter Russell Crowe, Allan Marett, Lamont Lindstrom, Steven Knopoff, Mary E. Lawson Burke, Vida Chenoweth, Adrienne L. Kaeppler, John D. Waiko and Vereara Teariki Monga Maeva. 1998. “Compositional Processes”. In The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music vol. 9: Australia and the Pacific Islands, edited by Adrienne L. Kaeppler and J. W. Love, 353–70. New York: Garland.
Titon, Jeff Todd. 2017. [Interview with Jeff Todd Titon re The Sound of Climate Change]. Whole Terrain 22. https://www.academia.edu/37366485/Interview_with_Jeff_Todd_Titon_re_The_Sound_of_Climate_Change_2017_
Wesley-Smith, Terence, ed. 2010. Epeli’s Quest: Essays in Honor of Epeli Hau‘ofa. Special issue of The Contemporary Pacific 22/1.
Wilson, Oli T. 2014. “Ples and Popular Music Production: A Typology of Home-based Recording Studios in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea”. Ethnomusicology Forum 23/3: 425–44. https://doi.org/10.1080/17411912.2014.975142
Wolfe, Patrick and Adria Imada. 2013. “‘Aloha ‘Oe’: Settler-Colonial Nostalgia and the Genealogy of a Love Song”. American Indian Culture and Research Journal 37/2: 35–52. https://doi.org/10.17953/aicr.37.2.c4x497167lx48183
Yunkaporta, Tyson. 2019. Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World. Melbourne: Text Publishing.