Practising Authenticity: Singing and/as Listening
Anjeline de Dios (Lingnan University, Hong Kong)
Paper short abstract:
This paper-performance proposes listening to oneself while singing as a productive practice with which to negotiate conflicting imperatives of multiple subjectivities.
Paper long abstract:
What emerges in the act of singing to oneself, especially when one's sense of that self is shaped by individual and racial-cultural boundaries of what "authentic" singing should be? How might listening to oneself while singing reveal the work of authenticity as embodied, provisional, difficult, and vital? This paper-performance reflects on the intimate practice of singing and/as listening, and proposes that it offers a site of reckoning with multiple subjectivities. I present two instances of critical reflection. In the first I consider the findings of my research on migrant Filipino musicians, whose singing, valued for the imitative and affective capacities of entertainment, is framed by larger infrastructures of contemporary labour migration and colonial cultural history. In the second, I share/sing insights as a performer and facilitator of improvised chant with Manila-based artists in contemporary dance and music. In both registers, I propose that listening to oneself in song, whether alone or with others, offers an ambiguous but productive space in which to engage the lived aspirations of authenticity, whilst continually reconciling conflicting imperatives of the self in contemporary contexts of cultural identity.
Performing Culture: Art and Performance for Coming to Know and Expressing Knowledge in the Social Sciences