Oral Presentation Session
Reviewed by: Anthropology and Environment Society
Primary Theme: Environment and Environmental Inequality
Secondary Theme: Materiality
Is a political ecology of sound possible? From timber to timbre, what are the socio-ecological dynamics involved in the processes of production, circulation, and consumption of music and sounds. This panel seeks papers that focus on the manifold ways that sound is produced, whether musical instruments or other sonic materials or forms of life. There is growing body of scholarship that is interested in the relations of sound, music, and the environment--most emanating from ethnomusicology (Allen and Dawe, eds. 2016). From questions of consumption and waste in different mediums (i.e. Smith 2015, Devine 2015), the politics of instrument production (Dudley 2014), to the political ecology and the global flows of sound materials (Greenberg 2016, Martínez-Reyes 2015, Gibson and Warren 2016) eco-sonicality is beginning to grapple with these questions and aspires to go beyond.
Inspired by explorations by Allen and Dawe (2016) and their call to expand its scope to ecomusicology, this panel is interested in how political ecology and environmental anthropology can contribute to ecomusicology and ethnomusicology and vice versa. It seeks to expand the limited notions of what sounds are in an increasingly complex global ecology at the edge of capitalist ruins (Tsing 2015). As people grapple with the questions that living in the Anthropocene poses, in particular the ways that human practices enable or impact the possibilities of a livable planet, eco-sonicality represents the possible ways of connecting sound, music, materials, power relations, and the environment in multiple and liberating ways.