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Singing the Biography: Media Mesh and Aesthetic Reconstitution in an Ethno-Musical Life Narrative

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Abstract

If the current predominant format of disseminating biography in writing has unwittingly led to the perception and therefore constitution of writing as the mode for transmitting and ‘receiving’ the life story, the immaterialness of biography—meaning its nature as an intangible cultural good or lexically transmitted information—contests the essentialism by implicitly asserting its modal flexibility. Following this supposition, this contribution shows how biographical content is grafted to the medium of music and micromanaged to perform the same role of relating the life story. I argue that this cross-border cooperation of genres and media necessarily entails a reconstitution of aesthetic modes to enhance wider spatial and temporal dissemination of content.

“… music-making must always be regarded as intentional action, and… the actors’ reasons for what they do must be taken into account”.

John Blacking (2001, 21)

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Interview with Sammy Sparkle, conducted at his recording studio in Awka, Anambra State, on 3 March 2021.

  2. 2.

    Interview with Mrs. Nebolisa, widow of Chief John Nebolisa, Igwe of Awkwuzu, conducted at the Palace on 3 March 2021.

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Oloko, P. (2023). Singing the Biography: Media Mesh and Aesthetic Reconstitution in an Ethno-Musical Life Narrative. In: Oloko, P., Ott, M., Simatei, P., Vierke, C. (eds) Decolonial Aesthetics II. Ästhetiken X.0 – Zeitgenössische Konturen ästhetischen Denkens. J.B. Metzler, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-66222-9_15

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-66222-9_15

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