Cultures of Sound and Music


The different research projects under this programme work with the proposition that it is not enough to perceive the world as legible or visible. Instead, we need to understand its audibility. Inspired by Jacques Attali’s comment that music is the “audible waveband of the vibrations and signs that make up society”, we explore how noise is part of modernity, how noise comes to be reconstituted as sound, and how ‘musical noise’ emerges.

Attentive to our location in Hong Kong, and to the contemporary emergence of new forms of political subjectivity relating to voicing and being heard, we want to discuss transitions from cognitive listening to feeling-listening; also issues of silence and silencing. We elaborate the meaning of resonance as referring to points of connection and engagement (Hong Kong in the World), and emphasize the importance of “listening to how we listen”.

We are specially interested in the spatialities, technologies, and practices of music, both popular and classical, in different Asian locations: Manila, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Guangdong Province, and in the mutual imbrication of musical and political assemblages.

Also included in this programme is the significant body of work on Cantonese opera which has been housed at Lingnan University for over a decade.