This short essay is a response to Alexandra T. Vazquez's Listening in Detail: Performances of Cuban Music (Duke, 2013). It aims to recreate the experience of reading the book and the transformation in listening that the book prompted. Written in both personal and academic registers, the essay begins with the author's analytic and affective responses to the book, before posing some questions it raises. Specifically, it asks for further explorations of our understanding of the publics generated by performances of Cuban music, in particular publics that might be critical or ideologically opposed to the political registers of the music. The essay raises the question of ethnographically produced knowledge and its role in tourist or commercial enterprises. Finally, the essay poses the issue, as raised in other contexts by Alexander Weheliye, of the relationship of technology to sonic blackness.
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Alejandra Bronfman; Fugitive Sounds. Small Axe 1 March 2016; 20 (1 (49)): 155–163. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-3481438
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