This article provides three vignettes of musicians living in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, who bravely define their musics against or outside the communal languages promoted by the two armies-the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE (Tamil Tigers)-that fought a civil war in the region for close to three decades (1983-2009). Noting the curious symbiosis between musicological languages of community and those promulgated by the dueling sovereign powers, the article asks how we might represent musical actions aimed at "liberation" from discourses of community without situating them in the communal discourses they seek to avoid.

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