From Timber to Timbre: Geographies of Forests, Tonewoods, and Guitars

Type: Paper
Theme:
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 3:55 PM / 5:35 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Washington 3, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Organizers: Jared Beeton, Jose Martinez-Reyes
Chairs: Jared Beeton

Call for Submissions

From timber to timbre, what are the socio-ecological dynamics involved in the processes of production, circulation, and consumption of musical instruments and sounds? It is well known that guitars and other wood instruments increase the demand for old-growth tonewoods. This leads to deforestation and in some cases, the endangerment and local extinctions of tree species. There is a growing body of scholarship interested in the relations of sound, music, and the environment--most emanating from ethnomusicology (Allen and Dawe, eds. 2016). From questions of consumption and waste in different mediums (i.e. Smith 2015, Devine 2015), the politics of instrument production (Dudley 2014), to the political ecology and the global flows of sound materials (Greenberg 2016, Martínez-Reyes 2015, Gibson and Warren 2016) geographers and political ecologists are beginning to grapple with these questions and aspire to go beyond.

Inspired by explorations by Allen and Dawe (2016) and their call to expand its scope to ecomusicology, this session is interested in how geography and political ecology can contribute to ecomusicology and ethnomusicology. It seeks to expand the limited notions of what sounds are in an increasingly complex global ecology at the edge of capitalist ruins (Tsing 2015). As people grapple with the questions that living in the Anthropocene poses, in particular the ways that human practices enable or impact the possibilities of a livable planet, geographers seek to contribute to the possible ways of connecting sound, music, materials, power relations, and the environment in multiple and liberating ways.

This session seeks papers that focus on the manifold ways that guitars and other musical instruments are produced, from forests and plantations, following the chain of transformation and coming into life as musical artefacts. Related themes include local populations, sustainability, environmental justice, political ecology, illegal logging, economics, natural resource management, the music industry, global forest policy, landscape change, soil productivity, soil erosion, river systems, and climate change. We invite papers focused on any of the above themes as they relate to guitars and/or any tonewood instruments. Tonewoods are being harvested in forests all over the world, so any regional specialization is welcome. Study type is not limited, and may be related to any geographic or environmental discipline.


Description

Organizers:

Jared M. Beeton, Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO
jbeeton@fortlewis.edu

Jose E. Martinez-Reyes, University of Massachusetts Boston
Jose.martinez-reyes@umb.edu

Session Description:

From timber to timbre, what are the socio-ecological dynamics involved in the processes of production, circulation, and consumption of musical instruments and sounds? It is well known that guitars and other wood instruments increase the demand for old-growth tonewoods. This leads to deforestation and in some cases, the endangerment and local extinctions of tree species. There is a growing body of scholarship interested in the relations of sound, music, and the environment--most emanating from ethnomusicology (Allen and Dawe, eds. 2016). From questions of consumption and waste in different mediums (i.e. Smith 2015, Devine 2015), the politics of instrument production (Dudley 2014), to the political ecology and the global flows of sound materials (Greenberg 2016, Martínez-Reyes 2015, Gibson and Warren 2016) geographers and political ecologists are beginning to grapple with these questions and aspire to go beyond.

Inspired by explorations by Allen and Dawe (2016) and their call to expand its scope to ecomusicology, this session is interested in how geography and political ecology can contribute to ecomusicology and ethnomusicology. It seeks to expand the limited notions of what sounds are in an increasingly complex global ecology at the edge of capitalist ruins (Tsing 2015). As people grapple with the questions that living in the Anthropocene poses, in particular the ways that human practices enable or impact the possibilities of a livable planet, geographers seek to contribute to the possible ways of connecting sound, music, materials, power relations, and the environment in multiple and liberating ways.

This session seeks papers that focus on the manifold ways that guitars and other musical instruments are produced, from forests and plantations, following the chain of transformation and coming into life as musical artefacts. Related themes include local populations, sustainability, environmental justice, political ecology, illegal logging, economics, natural resource management, the music industry, global forest policy, landscape change, soil productivity, soil erosion, river systems, and climate change. We invite papers focused on any of the above themes as they relate to guitars and/or any tonewood instruments. Tonewoods are being harvested in forests all over the world, so any regional specialization is welcome. Study type is not limited, and may be related to any geographic or environmental discipline.


Please send 250 word abstract by Oct 15 to both:
Jared M. Beeton, jbeeton@fortlewis.edu
and
Jose E. Martinez-Reyes, Jose.martinez-reyes@umb.edu


References:
Allen, A. and Dawe, K. eds. (2016). Current Directions in Ecomusicology. London: Routledge.
Gibson, C. and Warren, A. (2016) Resource-sensitive global production networks: Reconfigured geographies of timber and acoustic guitar manufacturing. Economic Geography 92(4):430-454.
Devine, K. (2015). Decomposed: A Political Ecology of Music. Popular Music 34(3):367–389.
Dudley, K. (2015) Guitar Makers: The Endurance of Artisanal Values in North America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Greenberg, J. (2016) Good Vibrations, Strings Attached: The Political Ecology of the Guitar. Sociology and Anthropology 4(5): 431 – 438.
Martínez-Reyes, J. (2015) Mahogany Intertwined: Enviromateriality Between Mexico, Fiji, and the Gibson Les Paul. Journal of Material Culture 16(4):376–388.
Smith, J. (2015) Eco-sonic Media. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Tsing, A. (2015) The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins. Princeton. Princeton University Press.


Agenda

Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Jared Beeton*, Fort Lewis College, The Beetles: A story of guitars, forest management, and climate change 20 3:55 PM
Presenter Jose Martinez-Reyes*, UMass Boston Anthropology, Guitar Ecologies and the Making of Fiji Mahogany 20 4:15 PM
Presenter Aaron Allen*, UNC Greensboro, Trees, Music, Values 20 4:35 PM
Presenter Chris Gibson*, University of Wollongong Australia, Andrew Warren, University of Wollongong Australia, Keeping time with trees: guitars, timber, and ecological experiments for unknown futures 20 4:55 PM
Presenter Jasper Waugh-Quasebarth*, University of Kentucky, Resounding in the Mountains: Musical Instrument Makers, Red Spruce, and Appalachian Forests 20 5:15 PM

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