Journal of Sonic Studies

Issue 12

Issue 12

Taiwanese Bush Warblers imitating garbage trucks: a mutual affair? (2016) Mark van Tongeren
All over Taiwan, garbage trucks equipped with loudspeakers make their rounds, playing tunes that announce their arrival to the citizens. Designed to reach people's homes at a considerable distance from the stopping points, the two garbage truck tunes thrust themselves onto large swaths of Taiwan's landscape and all of its living inhabitants. According to the author, another species, besides homo sapiens sapiens, has taken notice and musically responded to it. He describes how he witnessed a repetitive sound pattern remarkably similar to a part of a garbage truck melody able to emulate these signals. The melody was collectively executed by a small group of animals he could not see, each producing one not at a time. The author offers a possible candidate, the Brown-Flanked Bush Warbler, and a reconstruction of what he heard. These observations are contextualized within the emerging field of zoomusicology.
open exposition
What do the urban soundscapes of a city represent? Case studies in Bangkok and Hong Kong / 都市聲音有何個性? 考察曼谷和香港之城市聲景 (2016) KA HO CHEUNG, Marcel Cobussen
Urban soundscapes convey the cultural codes, history and collective memory of a society. Bangkok and Hong Kong are two open societies in Southeast Asia, within which local and imported auditory cultures co-exist, correlating to the demographics, cultural heritage, and recent geopolitical, economic and social transformations. Nevertheless, studies of their distinctive sonic phenomena are underrepresented in the field of sound studies. Encompassing street music, ritual activities, boxing matches, fresh produce markets, shopping arcades, commuting systems and various public spaces in Bangkok and Hong Kong, this article introduces case studies and contextualizes some distinct urban soundscapes, employing first-hand audio footage, as an initial pathway for building an auditory acquaintance with the region. 城市聲景蘊含社會的文化符號,歷史與集體回憶。曼谷和香港乃東南亞之開放城市,其本土與外來的聽覺文化並存,繫於族群分佈,文化傳承,地緣正治,社會經濟的演變。然而,聲音研究暫未對此題目有廣泛涉獵。有鑑於此,本文收納兩城市之街頭音樂,祭祀活動,鮮活市場,運輸系統,商場,拳賽,運輸系統,公共空間,就其聲景設案考察,為充實東南亞之聽覺智識引路。
open exposition
The sounds of Hanoi and the after-image of the homeland (2016) Stefan Östersjö, Nguyen Thanh Thuy
This paper discusses the soundscape of Hanoi and of the countryside north of Hanoi in the Bac Ninh province with the experience of the two authors as artists in two collaborative projects, Arrival Cities: Hanoi and Que/Homelands. The content is structured in three layers, a conversation between the two authors on their individual experience of the projects, a jointly written text which takes a more distant perspective to the topic and a series of video and audio files taken from the two artistic projects. While the two projects were completely independent, this paper identifies ways in which they complement each other and, taken together, the sound art collected within the projects may have a further political meaning. The authors suggest that the shifting soundscapes of Vietnam are a direct reflection of social and political change in the country.
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Editorial - Encounters With Southeast Asia Through Sound (2016) Marcel Cobussen
What “we” as JSS editors had in mind was to make space for some “subaltern voices,” multi-media reports on Southeast Asian soundscapes preferably coming from (local) residents or people who have spent a considerable amount of time there, to find out whether they hear differently, whether they notice different things, different sounds; to find out whether they can bring in other concepts, enrich or change the common discourses in Sound Studies; to explore and bring to our attention what they find sonically relevant.
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Domesticated Noise: The Musical Reformation of Identity in Urban Vietnam (2016) Lonan O Briain
In his composition “New Moon” (Trăng non), saxophonist Trần Mạnh Tuấn appropriates sounds from the musical cultures of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities to create a fusion of regional Vietnamese and international jazz music. The musical cultures are reduced to the raw sounds of instrument timbres which are then reformulated as part of a new popular style by the composer. His detachment of these sounds from the minority cultures and propagation of them as sonic referents to an internal Other nurtures an essentialized understanding of the minorities as different and distant from the urban majority. This research deploys Georgina Born’s proposal of four planes of distinct socialities that are mediated by music and sound (2011) to examine how the musical domestication of these ethnic-themed sounds contributes to the conceptualization of new economically-endowed social classes in urban Vietnam.
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A brief proposition toward a sonic geo-politics: Rajarhat New Town (2016) Anja Kanngieser
This paper explores some of the acoustic landscapes of Rajarhat New Town, a satellite city and special economic zone (SEZ) in West Bengal, Kolkata. Establishing these landscapes in their physical and economic geographies of primitive accumulation from farmland to IT parks, this paper indicates the potential for incorporating a sonic method into how urbanizing spaces are approached and understood. By crossing affective and semiotic registers, it argues for a perspective that brings the sensitivities of listening to the analytical practices of the social sciences. Through such interdisciplinarity, soundings become a means to engage with, and elaborate upon, contemporary social-economic and political landscapes. At the same time, the paper stages some possibilities for incorporating geo-economic and political critiques into sound discourses and practices.
open exposition
Football Soundscapes of Java (2016) Andy Fuller
Singing, chanting and the identification of some genres of music with particular clubs is an essential part of football culture. Stadium atmosphere is created through a combination of elements – smoke bombs, crowd densities, lighting, banners, and shouting – but the most intense and focused manner is through the rehearsed and conducted chanting. The range, originality, and loudness of chanting is the lure for fan groups, and an essential element of ultra fandom (Doidge and Lieser 2013; Kytö 2011). The Pasoepati supporter group of Solo, for example, draws on a range of musical styles and supporter chants to create its own soundscape in which their support for Persis Solo is articulated. During Persis Solo games, the Manahan Stadium becomes a site in which a Persis Solo-Pasoepati soundscape is created; rival clubs, such as Persebaya and PSIM, and their respective fan groups, also articulate their own soundscapes. The chanting is a part of global football culture and mediated through local cultural practices and values. This paper explores the sonic rituals –chanting and singing – that create a sense of community, based around a football team and city.
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Being There: Evocation of the Site in Contemporary Indian Cinema (2016) Budhaditya Chattopadhyay (not valid)
Contemporary Indian films, in their essentially digitalized realms, incorporate techniques such as the location-based multitrack “sync” recording, and surround sound design that reorder the organization of cinematic sound. These practices contrast with the earlier mono- or stereo formats by reconfiguring the linear construct of a soundtrack to produce a spatially evocative sonic environment that offers the listener a more life-like auditory experience of the fictional site. Using significant examples from post-2000 Indian films, this article shows how earlier practices are being replaced by “sync” sound elements and surround sound mixing with a richly spatial arrangement of site-specific ambience. The article argues that these layers of ambient sounds lead to audiences establishing their embodied experience of presence with the fictional site via auditory spatial cognition and immersion in a cinematic soundscape. By situating contemporary sound production practices within the various trajectories of Indian cinema, this article contributes to the broader field of research examining the key developments and emergent aesthetics in constructing spatial environments for cinema.
open exposition
SOUNDMEMORIES OF ASIA (2016) Max Haberl
The project is about the process of auditory memories related to initial impressions. It is also an experiment of how we are experiencing different soundscapes of different cultures. Which words can describe sounds, which we are not used to? Can we listen to the past? Which memories are still in mind? Collecting different material (recordings, diary, photos) allowed me to create a multimedia homepage.
open exposition
Experimental Music in Singapore (2016) Darren Moore
The experimental music scene in Singapore emerged in 1990s and grew out of the underground rock music scene of the 1980s. In this sense, the experimental scene has a shared history with the development of popular music in Singapore that occurred concurrently with Western popular music movements. Over the past 20 years, the scene has gained momentum and developed into a small, yet vibrant community. Similar underground experimental music scenes have also emerged throughout South-East Asia, e.g., in Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, Yogyakarta, Jakarta and other major centers, which has led to an increase in experimental musical activity in the region.
open exposition
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