Highlights from the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive: Archiving Filipino American Music in Los Angeles (AFAMILA)

In October 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate passed resolutions--House Resolution 780 and Senate Resolution 298--officially recognizing October as Filipino American History Month.  "Recognizes the celebration of Filipino American History Month as a study of the advancement of Filipino Americans and as a time to renew efforts toward the examination of history and culture in order to provide an opportunity for all people in the United States to learn more about Filipino Americans and their historic contributions to the Nation." 

In honor of Filipino American History Month, I thought I would highlight the Archive collection Archiving Filipino American Music in Los Angeles (AFAMILA).  AFAMILA was a yearlong archiving and documentation project by the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive and community partner Kayamanan Ng Lahi.  Support for the project was provided by a UCLA in LA grant from the UCLA Center for Community Partnerships, 2003-2004.  The finding aid for the collection is on the Online Archive of California, here.

Jesse Ruskin wrote about the project in volume 11 (2006) of Pacific Review of Ethnomusicology (now Ethnomusicology Review), "Collecting and Connecting: Archiving Filipino American Music in Los Angeles."  To quote the abstract, "Scholars have recently reconceptualized the archive not only as a repository of knowledge, but also as an active producer and arbiter of knowledge. The study of archives, from this perspective, must attend to processes as well as products. This paper examines UCLA’s Archiving Filipino American Music in Los Angeles (AFAMILA) project as a case study of collaborative archiving, from the perspective that both methodology, the strategies and practices of collecting, and musical content, the sounds collected, determine the meaning of music archives. Furthermore, the study seeks to demonstrate how the collaborative approach, with its emphasis on dialogue and exchange, subverts the discourses of power that have historically shaped music archiving."

The AFAMILA recordings are now available as part of the California Light and Sound Collection on the Internet Archive.  California Light and Sound is a project of the California Audiovisual Preservation Project (CAVPP).  You can, of course, always browse the Ethnomusicology Archive channel.


An Evening of Thai and Philippine Music at the Fowler Museum at UCLA, October 9, 2003


From Acapulco to Manila, Kayamanan Ng Lahi and Danza Floricanto/USA, Quetzal, Rondalla Club of Los Angeles, October 4, 2003


Teach-In on Pilipino Studies at UCLA, February 28, 2004


Festival of Philippine Arts and Cultures 2003 - San Pedro, CA, September 6, 2003, Kayamanan Ng Lahi, Joe Bataan, Immij, Peng, DJ Battle (finals, mainstage)



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