— 8 Nov / 14h @ Casa Artelor
ALTERNATIVE REALITIES: ELECTRONIC AND EXPERIMENTAL MUSIC IN ASIA AFRICA
To achieve true decolonization, we must learn to decolonize our minds and most likely rewrite a history of electronic and experimental music in general, including, not only Western European and Northern American references but references from the rest of the world too.
Music education in the Western World and parts of the non-Western World is still heavily focused on European art music (including electroacoustic music), particularly at university level but the history of “popular” music genres has not been decolonized neither. Whether one looks at the techno scene or the do-it-yourself experimental music scene, industrial, noise or electronica, a huge work of decolonization has still to be made.
Even though, the re-discovery and re-edition of early electronic music work of composers such as Halim El-Dabh (Egypt), Otto Sidharta (Indonesia), Toru Takemitsu (Japan), has brought some pioneers to light, it is still today, a big challenge to reshape people’s view on Africa and Asia or even Latin America, all too often associated with the so-called “world music” catch-all term.
Yet decolonization is not just about bringing in Asian and African electronic and experimental music but it is also about how to understand or at least put in context the various realities of African and Asian contemporary music from the past and the present.
The history of electronic and experimental music in Africa and Asia roughly started in the 1950s (with the notable exception of Halim El-Dabh in 1944), today this music landscape is a rich a various one despite the challenges some countries and communities may face in today’s global but unequal world.
Following more than two decades of research in alternative electronic, experimental and noise music in and from Asia and Africa, Cedrik Fermont published several essays about academic and non-academic electronic, electroacoustic, noise and experimental music from Asia and Africa and co-wrote with sociologist and composer Dimitri della Faille the book “Not Your World Music: Noise In South East Asia”, winner of the 2017 “Golden Nica” Prix Ars Electronica in the “Digital Musics & Sound Art” category.