Tuesday, November 9, 2021

"Voices of Vietnam"

New from Oxford University Press: Voices of Vietnam: A Century of Radio, Red Music, and Revolution by Lonán Ó Briain.

About the book, from the publisher:

On September 2, 1945, Ho Chi Minh read out the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence over a makeshift wired loudspeaker system to thousands of listeners in Hanoi. Five days later, Ho's Viet Minh forces set up a clandestine radio station using equipment brought to Southeast Asia by colonial traders. The revolutionaries garnered support for their coalition on air by interspersing political narratives with red music (nhạc đỏ). Voice of Vietnam Radio (VOV) grew from these communist and colonial foundations to become one of the largest producers of music in contemporary Vietnam.

In this first comprehensive English-language study on the history of radio music in mainland Southeast Asia, Lonán Ó Briain examines the broadcast voices that reconfigured Vietnam's cultural, social, and political landscape over a century. Ó Briain draws on a year of ethnographic fieldwork at the VOV studios (2016-17), interviews with radio employees and listeners, historical recordings and broadcasts, and archival research in Vietnam, France, and the United States. From the Indochinese radio clubs of the 1920s to the 75th anniversary celebrations of the VOV in 2020, Voices of Vietnam: A Century of Radio, Red Music, and Revolution offers a fresh perspective on this turbulent period by demonstrating how music production and sound reproduction are integral to the unyielding process of state formation.
--Marshal Zeringue