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‘The house of the Irish’: African migrant musicians and the creation of diasporic space at night
Ethnomusicology Forum  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-07-02, DOI: 10.1080/17411912.2021.1938623
Ailbhe Kenny, Katie Young

ABSTRACT

This article explores how diasporic musical spaces are created within key cultural night venues in Galway, Ireland. We hear two distinct migrant musicians’ voices, both literally and metaphorically, highlighting how over time, they have been shaping and are being shaped by musical space in Galway. It is argued that the night is a significant time for African migrant musicians to position themselves within this small city; to make their presence both visible and audible through performance. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork from an Afromusic night and an Open Mic event at two prominent ‘Irish’ cultural venues, these distinct night spaces emerge as central to the process of interpreting and relaying experiences of migration and migrant life in Ireland through music. Thus, through a focus on migrant musical interactions in well-known ‘Irish’ cultural venues at night, new insights into how musical spaces are negotiated, shaped and transformed over time are illuminated.