Andrew Colwell, PhD candidate in ethnomusicology, presented “The Conditions of Audibility: Cultural Heritage, Pastoral Sensibility and Global Ambition in Mongol Xöömeí (Throat-singing),” a lecture based on his dissertational research, on Dec. 2 in Exley Science Center.
In his lecture, Colwell focused on the performance of xöömeí, its conditions of audibility, and the critical questions it poses to ethnomusicology and Mongolian studies’ treatment of places, circulation and belonging.
In western Mongolia a project is underway to rehabilitate a once-sacred place into a “natural theater” for the promotion of xöömeí. According to elder generations, a nearby crevice called xavchig was once a venerated site for the pastoral community, due to a sonorous rivulet of mountain water that flows through it. But sometime during the socialist collectivization of herders’ pastoral encampments, the nationalization of their expressive practices, and the censorship of animist or Buddhist spiritual practices in the 20th century, the crevice fell into neglect.
The entire Wesleyan community is invited to the Graduate Student Speaker Series. The next talks are at noon on Feb. 10 and April 20 in Exley Room 58. (Photos by Laurie Kenney)