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Sonic City

Making Rock Music and Urban Life in Singapore

Steve Ferzacca (author)

ISBN: 9789813251083

Publication Date: Oct 2020

Format: Paperback

Based on five years of deep participatory experience, this multi-modal (text, musical composition, social media, performance) sonic ethnography is centred around a community of noisy people who make rock music within the constraints of urban life in Singapore.
£28.50

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The basement of a veteran shopping mall located in the central business district of Singapore affords opportunities to a group of amateur and semi-professional musicians, of different ethnicities, ages, and generations to make a sonic way of life. Based on five years of deep participatory experience, this multi-modal (text, musical composition, social media, performance) sonic ethnography is centered around a community of noisy people who make rock music within the constraints of urban life in Singapore. The heart and soul of this community is English Language rock and roll music pioneered in Singapore by several members of the 1960s legendary 'beats and blues' band, The Straydogs, who continue to engage this community in a sonic way of life.
 
Grounded in debates from sound studies, Ferzacca draws on Bruno Latour's ideas of the social-continually emergent, constantly in-the-making, 'associations of heterogeneous elements' of human and non-human 'mediators and intermediaries' - to portray a community entangled in the confounding relations between vernacular and national heritage projects. Music shops, music gear, music genres, sound, urban space, neighborhoods, State presence, performance venues, practice spaces, regional travel, local, national, regional, and sonic histories afford expected and unexpected opportunities for work, play, and meaning, in the contemporary music scene in this Southeast Asian city-state. The emergent quality of this deep sound is fiercely cosmopolitan, yet entirely Singaporean. What emerges is a vernacular heritage drawing upon Singapore's unique place in Southeast Asian and world history.
Illustrations 48 halftones
Pages 288
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 30 Oct 2020
Publisher NUS Press
Subject/s Social & cultural anthropology   Urban communities   Rock & Pop music   Human geography  
Steve Ferzacca is associate professor at the University of Lethbridge. He is the author of Healing the Modern in a Central Javanese City: Ethnographies in Medical Anthropology.

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