Lai atskan dziesmas: Latvian Music and Cultural Identity in Twenty-First Century New Zealand
The city of Christchurch, New Zealand, is home to the most distant settlement of the post-World War Two Latvian diaspora. For more than sixty years, this tiny community has maintained a strong sense of cultural identity through music and dance, despite the difficulties presented by geographic distance and isolation. In 2008, I initiated an ethnographic recording project with musicians from the Christchurch Latvian community, which resulted in the production of a double-CD, Lai atskan dziesmas. This paper provides a discussion of the practical and theoretical considerations of the ethnographic component of this recording project, and examines the process of identity construction embodied in the recording process. This construction of identity can be examined on many levels, as it involved issues such as the juxtaposition of archival and new recordings, the process of repertoire selection, the differing challenges of live and studio recording, and the process of re-arrangement of songs for the purposes of studio recording. Furthermore, the recording process mobilised issues of identity with respect to the roles of Latvian and non-Latvian musicians involved, and even the ways in which songs on the CD reflect the shared identity of the Christchurch community.
Mūzikas akadēmijas raksti
Musicology and Ethnomusicology