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sounds like renqing

 reworking a paper from the spring, i find that it has more to say about networks than it does about music, but that's ok i've just about completed the "sounds like renqing" paper, which i need to submit to _asian anthropology_ pretty soon--i want it to appear along with elana chipman's paper about temple networks. while chipman discusses the deterritorialization of temple networks, my paper has more to do with the role of agonistic exchange. on the one hand, i look at the way that musical troupes add to the noise and bustle of temple festivals, from the vantage of a troupe in lukang. on the other, i want to show how the relationships within these troupes and among them reflects competition in solidarity. the trick, to me, is working the actual musical form in: to what extent are the relationships mediated musically? would the relationships be different if the music were different?

that causes me to think a bit. how is it that the music accompanying pa-ka chiong, fierce martial performance troupes, so small. in fact, the kit resembles the delicate "martial side" (bu tiong) of lamkoan--tiny cymbals and gongs. it's contradictory, but somehow the timbre of these instruments allows them to pop out of the surrounding sound. i don't write about that in the paper, but i wonder
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