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Coordenation
Susana Sardo (Co-IR)
 
Team
Pedro Aragão | Susana Sardo | Álvaro Sousa | Ana Cristina Cortês | Ana Flávia Miguel | Andreia Duarte | António Santos | Beatriz Leme | Eduardo Lichuge | Eduardo Falcão | Felizmina Velho | Franz Cotta | Isaac Raimundo | Marco Freitas | Margarida Miranda | Martha Ulhôa | Oscar Noronha | Pedro Rodrigues | Rui Raposo | Vinícius Fernandes
 
Funding
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia - OE
 
Reference
PTDC/ART-PER/4405/2020
 
Period
02.2021-01.2024
 
Abstract
Liber|Sound project proposes the liberation of musical inheritance contained in obsolete media (78 rpm discs and magnetic tapes) with the aim of facilitating the reactivation of memory and based on innovative processes of archiving. It focuses on examples of popular music micro-expressions, recorded and disseminated during the first half of the20th century by recording industry in Portugal, Mozambique, Brazil and India (Goa) - territories that share political histories and common languages with evident echoes on musical transits and experiences. Liber|Sound is focused on particular sound archives revealing: 
  • transits between sound practices and musicians in Portuguese-speaking communities [henceforth PSC];
  • shared sound spaces which gave rise to autonomous music expressions;
  • examples of resistance to actions of colonial domination between Portugal and its former colonies.
Scholarship addressing music and colonialism have been focused - in the case of Portugal - in two main perspectives: the one from historical musicology by identifying and mapping the circulation of musical structures in search of the Portuguese presence in the world and the ethnomusicological one, more interested in the analyses of contemporary resilient practices, which remain in orality in postcolonial territories and their diasporas. However, far too little attention has been given to the earliest recordings -safeguarded on commercial discs of the early twentieth century (1900 - c.1960) - where individual, collective and performative histories are waiting to be recovered.
In addition, phonographic industry studies in the context of PSC frequently ignore post-colonial perspectives and are generally based on nationalistic premises, with emphasis on two aspects:  the circulation of musical genres addressed as national symbols; the social and economic transformations carried out by the advent of phonography within the context of each "nation-state". However, few authors have been able to draw on any systematic research into the role of phonographic industries in the consolidation of transatlantic musical systems or on its role in the construction of shared musical memories between Iberian Peninsula, Africa, Asia and South America.
Liber|Sound seeks to fulfill these lacks both in theorical approaches and by promoting practical actions in order to rescue and reactivate sounds and voices that were paradoxically silenced by technological development.
The project methodology is based on shared research practices and it is organized in 3 phases. The first seeks to identify, classify and digitize examples of recorded music that are stored in public and private collections. The second presupposes a critical analysis of the repertoire, in a transcontinental and decolonizing perspective, shared with researchers from different contexts under analysis. The third seeks to reactivate the memory of the "liberated" musical heritage, promoting the reinterpretation of the selected repertoire, the construction of an online biographical encyclopaedia of music and musicians, and the organization of an international / transcontinental radio program dedicated to digitized sources and their reinterpretations.
 
Keywords
Sound Archives; Ethnomusicology; Phonographic Industries; Connected communities