Two keyboards, a bansuri flute, two guitars, a violin, a madal drum, the tabla drum-pair, two groups of singers, a harmonium – not a bad picture of Nepali music in one of the shapes it has taken in recent decades. The occasion is a celebration of the four Kirtipur shahids (martyrs) of the 1990 people’s movement that terminated King Birendra’s direct rule.
I’ve been doing research on the music and the musical life of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, since 1981. It started with the M.A. thesis, went on with the doctoral dissertation and two research projects – Music, media and the communication of a national identity in Nepal (funded by SAREC/SIDA in 1985-88) and The media as a national stage for music (funded by HSFR in 1990-93) – and goes on into the present. The research is based on periods of ethnomusicological fieldwork in Kirtipur in 1985-88, residency in Lalitpur in 1993–98, and a number of shorter visits, most lately in 2008.
Key interests: the musical life of the Newar communities in the Kathmandu Valley. The music of radio Nepal and other media. Ethnic & political movements. Globalization, cultural flows & creolization. The dialectics between music and the culture, society and economy it is a part of and helps maintaining.
Publications (a selection)
Music and media in local life. Music practice in a Newar neighbourhood in Nepal. Second edition forthcoming from Mandala Publications, Kathmandu. (First edition Linköping, 1989.)
Rooting and routing in South Asian popular music: the role of Kathmandu. Paper presented at INTER: A European Cultural Studies Conference in Sweden 2007.
Music under development: children’s songs, artists, and the (pancayat) state. Studies in Nepali history and society (SINHAS) vol 10 (2005) no. 2 p. 255 - 293
The Soundscape of the Radio. Engineering Modern Songs and Superculture in Nepal. In Paul D. Greene & Thomas Porcello (eds), Wired for Sound: Engineering and Technologies in Sonic Cultures, p. 222–44. Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University press. 2005. Review 1. Review 2.  Review 3. Publisher’s presentation.
Musikern - en evig migrant. I & M : invandrare & minoriteter vol 30 (2003) no. 5 p. 40 - 42
Music and civilization in the Kathmandu Valley. Paper presented at Ethnomusicological Vistas. Society for Ethnomusicology 2002 Annual Meeting  (Estes Park, Colorado )
”Our pale-eyed guests”. Notes on a Westerner diaspora and its hosts. Paper presented at Staden och staten. Etnicitet, migration och medborgarskap. IMER-konferensen 2002.
"To change the face of this country." Nepalese progressive songs under pancayat democracy. Journal of South Asian literature vol 29 (1996) p. 175 - 189
One song, five continents, and a thousand years of musical migration. Saragam sangitik traimasik vol 1 no 1 (1995) p. 56–65.
Modernisation and revival in a Newar tradition: the songs of Ram Krishna Duwal. In M. Juntunen, W. L. Smith & C. Suneson (eds), Sauhrdyamangalam. Studies in Honour of Siegfried Lienhard on his 70th Birthday, p. 117–39. Stockholm: The Association of Oriental Studies, 1995.
Nepalese urbanism: A musical exploration. In Michael Allen (ed), Anthropology of Nepal: People, problems and processes p. 160 - 175. Kathmandu: Mandala Book Point, 1994. Publisher’s presentation.
Kathmandu, a valley fertile for music. Himal vol 6 (1993) no. 6, p. 23–27
När en musiktradition medialiserar. Nepal i förändringarnas tidevarv. In Ulf Hannerz (ed), Medier och kulturer p. 171 - 205. Stockholm: Carlssons, 1990.
Varför skulle vi sjunga utländska sånger? Om moderna sånger, medier och traditionell nevarimusik i Nepal. In Owe Ronström (ed), Musik och kultur p. 21 - 64. Lund: Studentlitteratur, 1990
Kirtipur, April 2004