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Recollecting from the Past (Music/Culture)by Ron Emoff
Synopses & Reviews
Studies interconnections between sound production, spirit possession, colonialism and ceremonial remembering in Madagascar.
The first serious ethnomusicological study of Malagasy music, Recollecting from the Past evokes the complex sound and performative aesthetic in Madagascar called maresaka. Maresaka pertains not only to musical expression but extends into ways of remembering the past, aesthetics of everyday life, and Malagasy concepts of self and community.
Ron Emoff focuses on tromba spirit possession ceremonies in which Malagasy use devotional practice as an occasion to expressively re-figure worlds often impeded by colonialism and postcolonial phenomena, extreme material poverty, and widespread illness. Malagasy not only preserve the past, but they interpret, revalue and transform it to their own ends. Music is crucial to these performances since powerful ancestral spirits will not enter into the present if not enticed by masterful musical performances, and so music itself provides a complex symbolic system with which Malagasy can recall and reconstruct the past. This groundbreaking study will be of interest to readers in the fields of anthropology, ethnomusicology, cultural studies, African studies, postcolonial and performance studies.
Table of Contents
Some background on Tamatave — Spirit practices on the east coast — Maresaka — Material media of maresaka : the value in things — Recollecting — Power, resistance?, valses — Clinton, Bush, and Hussein in Tamatave — "Style as iconicity of aesthetics" — Discourse on illness, healing, and abnormality — Imagining Antandroy in Tamatave-ville — Retour.
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