, repeating the same melody, verse after verse. Some more musicians join in, others drop out.
… crowned with lilies and roses / in this chapel Mary rests crowned by the heart of Jesus / Madonna di Pollino help me …
One after another the musicians touch the case and, while it seems that the piece is approaching its conclusion, the zampogna has never stopped its droning. Suddenly the drums change pace and the music becomes a tarantella . Two men briefly start dancing, then one of the organetto players dances a few steps in front of the statue, imitated by the
This chapter is centred on my research into sound identities and musical practices in Basilicata, which started at the end of the 1980s. Ever since, I have used performing music as a form of research by way of active participation as a musician in the local scene. Performance-based research has a long history within ethnomusicology (Cottrell 2007 ). One of its most famous formulations is found in the concept of bimusicality proposed by Mantle Hood, who considered musical practice a privileged way to approach a foreign musical culture ( 1960 ). As a native
Recorded memories and diasporic identity in the archive of Giuseppe
regional circuit, but a diasporic community whose identity must be understood on a wider transnational scale. Music and sound continue to play a crucial role in giving a meaning to its identity thanks to their strong evocative function and nostalgic component (Pistrick 2015 ). However, in addition to music-making practices, an even more important role is that of sound recordings. Emigrants who recorded on tape voices, musical instruments or church bells were able to offer them to their diasporic community through the magnifying glass of acousmatic listening, whereby
Sonic ethnography explores the role of sound-making and listening practices in
the formation of local identities in the southern Italian region of Basilicata.
The book uses a combination of text, photography and sound recording to
investigate soundful cultural performances such as tree rituals, carnivals,
pilgrimages, events promoting cultural heritage and more informal musical
performances. Its approach demonstrates how in the acoustic domain tradition is
made and disrupted, power struggles take place and acoustic communities are
momentarily brought together in shared temporality and space. This book
underlines how an attention to sound-making, recording and listening practices
can bring innovative contributions to the ethnography of an area that has been
studied by Italian and foreign scholars since the 1950s. The approaches of the
classic anthropological scholarship on the region have become one of the forces
at play in a complex field where discourses on a traditional past, politics of
heritage and transnational diasporic communities interact. The book’s argument
is carried forward not just by textual means, but also through the inclusion of
six ‘sound-chapters’, that is, compositions of sound recordings themed so as to
interact with the topic of the corresponding textual chapter, and through a
large number of colour photographs. Two methodological chapters, respectively
about doing research in sound and on photo-ethnography, explain the authors’
approach to field research and to the making of the book.
Towards a sonic ethnography of the Maggio festival in Accettura
Lorenzo Ferrarini and Nicola Scaldaferri
material, developing arguments in sound through strategies of editing borrowed from electroacoustic music (Drever 2002 ; Scaldaferri 2018 ; Truax 2008 ). The post-production of sonic ethnographies is a powerful analytical device that allows detection in the recordings of unexpected relationships and structures that the ethnographer might otherwise have missed (Feld and Scaldaferri 2019 : 82–84). However, finally it is important to stress that a sound-centric approach to ethnography is not meant to replace other, more established ways of working, but can be useful to
control over their sound. The team leader can carry out this role in various ways: with a handful of small bells hanging from a staff, with which they periodically hit the ground in the double function of acoustic and visual signal, or using a whistle, a snare drum or a bass drum. Sometimes they simply place themselves at the head of the group, leading as a herd leader, dictating the pace with their bell.
A good starting point to frame the Campanaccio is Blacking’s definition of music as ‘humanly organized sound’ ( 1973 ). This reference, as important as it is, is
anthropology in Basilicata (see chapter 7 ). In combination with the accompanying texts and sounds, the aim of these images is to evoke the manner in which, with varying degrees of consciousness, people in contemporary Basilicata perform cultural heritage at the same time as performing acts of religious devotion.
As is evident throughout the associated sound-chapter, music is ever present at wheat festivals, and many of the offerings dance with their carriers to the sound of tarantelle . Dancing with the wheat offerings is a form of sonic devotion not unlike those
Nostalgia and al-zaman al-gamiil (the ‘beautiful old
electricity supplies, each having a
meter, and informally to water pipes and sewerage systems. (Amnesty International 2011: 42)
During Ramadan 2017, the street cafés grew like a long snake all along the
walls of the school across from our building, almost reaching the main street
of Charles de Gaulle. These cafés, filled mostly with men, remain open until
dawn, filling the entire street with backgammon players and shisha smokers
and, of course, with excessive noise and music. Quarrels amongst the customers can lead to police interference at dawn. Most recently, young women
to demonstrate how such an attention to sound and listening can reveal mechanisms and patterns that have been missed by earlier approaches. Going beyond a traditional attention to music as the main form of culturally organised sound, our sonic ethnography reveals the emergence of temporary communities around practices of listening and sound-making, whose workings are often deeply affective and embodied. Identities, ideologies and power do not simply resonate within these practices but are transformed by them – for example when certain sounds are used as markers of
Lewis, Depth of Translation: The Book of Raft, Melbourne: New Music Articles, 1999 .
Kelp (with Edmund Carter, Christopher Williams). Exhibition: Hidden Histories, Warrnambool Art Gallery, Victoria, April 2014 .
Involutes (with Edmund Carter) 2011). Exhibition: Laminations, Multimedia Room, Charles Darwin University, Casuarina Campus, 15 October 2015 . Graphic art
Hinges (with Edmund Carter), 2006. Reference: Paul Carter, ‘Masters of the Gap: art, migration and eido-kinesis’, in C