Notes from the Field

Curated by Otto Stuparitz

The Vulture Speaks

Early in the process of sorting out who would write what, Alejandro and I agreed that we would not identify exactly where we encountered the badly damaged document that is our starting place for our linked essays. (His essay explains why we decline to do this).

The Thai King Passes, the Music Stops

In October 2016, I went to Thailand to gather sounds through field recording in order to compose a soundscape with sound artist Samuel Gouttenoire. This project was part of Le Festival de l’Imaginaire (Paris), organized by La Maison des Cultures du Monde.

Al-Mizan music group and the State Islamic University in Yogyakarta

Preliminary fieldwork observations from Yogyakarta:

The city of Yogyakarta in Indonesia is well known for its artistic culture, great universities, and an impressive array of important historical sites and museums that annually attracts millions of visitors and tourists from around the world.

The Agency of a Lute: Post-Field Reflections on the Materials of Music

As I lie drifting to sleep in my hotel room, I hear a groan, an exasperated sound of tension releasing, eeeoowwwhh. Rousted from my hypnogogic state, I feel a jolt of adrenaline as the vibrational frequencies stimulate my sympathetic nervous system. I sit up and move my eyes toward the direction of the sound. It is my oud, laid next to the bed, as I had been too tired to put it away in its case before lying down.

Improvising Global Connection in Santiago, Chile

On January 26, my fieldwork in Santiago, Chile took an unforgettable turn when I took to the patio of a shared artists’ house to perform a set of improvised music with three Chilean jazz musicians. This concert came about as part of a transnational collective effort among Chilean jazz aficionados, a Danish web startup company, and my own network of family, friends, and fellow music lovers.

Music in Airports

Airports fall into what Marc Augé has defined as a "non-place." Augé's term refers to anthropological spaces of transience that do not hold enough significance to be regarded as "places". Other "non-places" include highways, hotel rooms, supermarkets, train stations, and bus terminals.

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