Performing Nostalgia: Migration Culture and Creativity in South Albania
Ashgate, SOAS Musicology Series, Farnham
Migration studies is an area of increasing significance in musicology as in other disciplines. How do migrants express and imagine themselves through musical practice? How does music help them to construct social imaginaries and to cope with longings and belongings? In this study of migration music in postsocialist Albania, Eckehard Pistrick identifies links between sound, space, emotionality and mobility in performance, provides new insights into the controversial relationship between sound and migration, and sheds light on the cultural effects of migration processes. Central to Pistrick’s approach is the essential role of emotionality for musical creativity which is highlighted throughout the volume: pain and longing are discussed not as a traumatising end point, but as a driving force for human action and as a source for cultural creativity.
In addition, the study provides a fascinating overview about the current state of a rarely documented vocal tradition in Europe that is a part of the mosaic of Mediterranean singing traditions. It refers to the challenges imposed onto this practice by heritage politics, the dynamics of retraditionalisation and musical globalisation. In this sense the book constitutes an important study to the dynamics of postsocialism as seen from a musicological perspective.
Introduction: sound, space and mobility
Vocal multipart practice in Albania
Reading the absences – approaching the field; Migration and mobility in Albania
Migration, emotions and creativity
Migration in performance – village feasts and nostalgia
ʽThe deep woundʼ – memorialising migration
Two absences – migration up to death
Conclusion: sound, space and mobility – lessons from the Albanian case