This special section explores song from a fundamental but unexplored perspective: as a way of knowing for anthropology. The themes touched upon include ontological politics and their relationship with anti- or decoloniality, the other-than-human, and the senses. Feld ( 2012) has long argued for anthropology to attend to the epistemic importance of songs and sound, above all in his proposal for a synesthetic acoustemology (Feld 2015). However, the question of how this could apply to anthropological onto/epistemologies beyond projects focused on sound has yet to be addressed.
We would like to thank everyone who contributed to all the workshops and collaborative projects that have led to this special section. Any mistakes or misinterpretations are entirely the fault of the authors, Gatt and Lembo. We gratefully acknowledge the European Research Council which funded the two workshops, via the KFI project. Tim Ingold, Laura Siragusa, Josh Bergamin and Christopher Williams read and patiently commented on drafts of this introduction, we feel so much gratitude. Special thanks to Ben Spatz for inviting Gatt to participate in the labs for their AHRC Leadership Fellowship project Judiaca, and for their extensive work on song as epistemic practice, including founding the Journal of Embodied Research. We would also like to thank the Multimodal editors, and all the anonymous reviewers, for their generous reviews. We are deeply grateful to Elizabeth Chin for her brilliant editorial guidance and support for a project that has taken many years and many resubmissions to be realized, and to Deborah Thomas who as previous editor in chief accepted the proposal for the special section. Many thanks to Sean Mallin for his close attention and keen insights in copyediting this and all other contributions to this special section.