This study details theory and praxis of one possible process of composing Japanese American music within the larger context of culture constructed to support Asian American political identity. I discuss possible approaches to “Asian American music” as well as the intentions behind three compositions I created within my current conception of it. While I do not posit that all Asian American music must be influenced by traditional Asian musical forms, the process I present in this project draws on studies of the shakuhachi, the Japanese bamboo flute. The compositions are also influenced by autoethnographic reflections I wrote in response to literature on Asian American music and classical Japanese music. I weave my autoethnographic musical compositions through theoretical prose in order to enrich potential emotional connection with all experiencers of this work in a way that would not be possible with musical or academic work alone. I see the creation and dissemination of distinctly Asian American art forms in contrast to orientalized stereotypes as an important aspect of the push to shift societal views and counter racist violence. Therefore, my work contributes to this effort by furthering discourse on methods for composing Asian American music in culturally and historically informed ways.
"An Autoethnographic Approach to Composing Japanese American Music,"
Undergraduate Research: Vol. 2:
2, Article 24.
Available at: https://kb.gcsu.edu/undergraduateresearch/vol2/iss2/24