Sounds of Our Lives

“Sounds of Our Lives” are Life Stories told through the medium of music and sounds as remembered by Kachin people. Oral accounts through words may not always be the most appropriate or suitable means of inscribing and telling Life Stories. Words cannot replicate the beauty or pain, or as I like to put it, the colours of a “Charlie Parker moment.” And no amount of description can replicate the soundscape of living in the remote villages or the changing soundscape in the city brought about by urban decay then rapid urbanisation as experienced by many cities in Myanmar. And no textual notations can sufficiently capture the accents and nuances of local ways of articulation and languages of the subgroups under the Kachin label. Through sound/video recordings, and even live performances, we encourage Kachin to “make their autoethnographies sing,” to borrow a phrase from the edited volume by Brydie-Leigh Bartleet & Carolyn Ellis (2009); and to pass on the linguistic heritage of the subgroups and local ways often speaking to the next generation.

Listen & View Sounds of Our Lives on:


Live with Naw Mai & Awng Ban: Kachin Soundscapes is a special series highlighting how we exchange life stories in our most casual and everyday fashion, and quite often, using medium beyond words and texts. In this case, Live with Naw Mai & Awng Ban, tells of how we remember and make sense of our lives with Sounds. Reverend Naw Mai and the eminent Kachin guitarist, Awng Ban, exchange life stories with their guitars through a series of casual, raw, and totally unrehearsed, jamming sessions in Chiang Mai.

Listen & View Live with Naw Mai & Awng Ban: Kachin Soundscapes at the following links:

YouTube: The Complete Series