The Channel: A Podcast from the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS)

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Acoustic Atmospheres in Palau with Birgit Abels

Season 1, Ep. 18

Birgit Abels is professor of cultural musicology at the University of Göttingen. She has conducted ethnographic and ethnomusicological research in multiple sites across Asia, and she is the Principal Investoigor on the European Research Council project Sound Knowledge: Alternative Epistemologies of Music in the Western Pacific Island WorldToday we are talking about Birgit’s new book, Music Worlding in Palau: Chanting, Atmospheres and Meaningfulness. The book was released in 2022 as part of the Global Asia series published by IIAS and Amsterdam University Press. Chanting holds a special place in Palau. In this conversation, Birgit discusses the theoretical dimension of her work and walks listeners through some specific field recordings. As you’ll hear, sound and music offer a window into much broader issues, raising questions of the self, community, politics, and becoming. Music Worlding in Palau was also released as an Open Access title, so it is free to download at the Amsterdam University Press website.

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