Katelyn Barney’s new book on Indigenous/Non-Indigenous collaborations

Routledge is soon to release Musical Collaboration between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous People in Australia: Exchanges in The Third Space, edited by Katelyn Barney. The 12 chapters expand on a topic Katelyn first explored in her Lyrebird book, Collaborative Ethnomusicology: New Approaches to Music Research between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians (2014). She writes about the new book: “This edited collection demonstrates the processes of intercultural musical collaboration and how these processes contribute to facilitating positive relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Each chapter examines specific examples of Indigenous/non-Indigenous musical collaboration in Australia in diverse contexts and reflects on key issues that underpin musical exchanges including the benefits and challenges of intercultural music making. The book brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous leading scholars, educators and early career academics working in the interrelated fields of Indigenous Australian ethnomusicology, music education and community music to make visible the often invisible relationships, negotiations and exchanges that underpin the “third space” or “borderlands” of intercultural musical collaboration. The majority of chapters are either written by Indigenous researchers or co-authored with Indigenous collaborators. This is significant as it foregrounds the voices of Indigenous authors (Lou Bennett, Clint Bracknell, Deline Briscoe, Uncle Ossie Cruse, Debbie Higgison, Candice Kruger, and Yin Paradies) and reflects the dialogical nature of musical collaboration itself.

Relationships and musical exchange are at the centre of many of the papers in the volume. Certainly there is much work to be done to continue to improve relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and collaborative music making can offer one way for them to work together. Lou Bennett eloquently describes musical collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people as “sharing breath” and reminds us that it takes courage for Indigenous people to collaborate with non-Indigenous people because of the deep traumas and ongoing effects of colonisation in Australia. The collaborations discussed in the volume highlight the ways music making between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people can be a space of shared joy for those involved. As Bidjara and Birri Gubba Juru historian and author Jackie Huggins writes, “there are many stories about Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people working together. Perhaps more than we are prepared to realise” (Huggins, 2022, p. 178). This book is about such stories. Overall, the chapters in this volume demonstrate how music provides an effective platform to allow Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to work together, to learn from each other and importantly to improve and strengthen relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples”.

The book is due out in December 2022. Also newly released from Routledge: The Symphony in Australia, 1960–2020 by Rhoderick McNeill. See here for more information.