Groundbreaking study of the world's largest archive of field recordings of African music
Winner of IASPM Book Prize, given by IASPM, 2023
Winner of the Bruno Nettl Prize, given by the Society for Ethnomusicology, 2023
Joint-Winner of the Ruth Stone Prize (with Jessica Perrea), given by the Society for Ethnomusicology, 2023
This book is an ethnographic study of sound archives and the processes of creative decolonization that form alternative modes of archiving and curating in the 21st century. It explores the histories and afterlives of sound collections and practices at the International Library of African Music. Sound Fragments follows what happens when a colonial sound archive is repurposed and reimagined by local artists in post-apartheid South Africa. The narrative speaks to larger issues in sound studies, curatorial practices, and the reciprocity and ethics of listening to and reclaiming culture. Sound Fragments interrogates how Xhosa arts activism contributes to an expanding notion of what a sound or cultural archive could be, and where it may resonate now and in future.
About the Author
NOEL LOBLEY (Charlottesville, VA) is assistant professor of music at the University of Virginia. Lobley is an ethnomusicologist, sound curator, and artist who works across the disciplines of music, anthropology, sound art, and composition. He has served on the committee of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology, is an appointed member of the Royal Anthropological Institute's ethnomusicology committee, and was awarded the 2015 Curl Lectureship at the Royal Anthropological Institute.