Item Details

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

Subject Areas:

DOI: 10.1558/jwpm.20197


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

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