Louder and Faster: Reflections on Writing a Book about Pain, Joy, and the Body Politic in Asian American Taiko
Deborah Wong (University of California, Riverside)
Recently published, Louder and Faster is a study of taiko in California, focused on the play of sound, performance, identity, ethnicity, race, gender, and politics. Wong explores taiko as a music/dance art form that creates spaces in which memories of the WW2 Japanese American incarceration, Asian American identity and a desire to be seen/heard intersect with global capitalism, the complications of mediation, and legacies of imperialism. Based on two decades of participatory ethnographic work, the book offers a vivid glimpse of an Asian American presence both loud and fragile. Wong will reflect on the process of researching taiko in Southern California, read short passages from the book, and consider how and why Japanese American activism matters.
Deborah Wong is Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Riverside. She is the author of Sounding the Center and Speak it Louder.
Photo caption: George Abe playing bon daiko for the Obon dances, Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple, Los Angeles, California, July 2017.
Part of the Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy Colloquium Series, sponsored by The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Department of Ethnomusicology.