Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-ndmmz Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-18T12:03:42.081Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

The Acousmatic Gap as a Flexile Path to Self-Understanding: A case for experiential listening

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 November 2020

Thembi Soddell*
Affiliation:
School of Art / Audiokinetic Experiments (AkE) Lab, School of Design, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Abstract

Since Schaeffer’s development of musique concrète, there has been an ongoing debate regarding the value of the acousmatic reduction for engaging with real-world sound in music, and its relevance for composers and listeners. This article presents a way of working with acousmatic sound that is more meaningful to me as a composer, which I have labelled experiential listening. In understanding acousmatic sound through the lens of experientialism (as opposed to Schaeffer’s use of phenomenology), I have devised this method to form a dialogue between sound, composer, and listener through the use of metaphor, to explore concepts beyond the experience of just sound in itself while composing. It accounts for the felt sense of intuition that can form through working with acousmatic sound, presenting a way of using this as a tool for self-understanding. It highlights Brian Kane’s ontology of acousmatic sound as the being of a gap, exploring where this gap can take the mind of the composer and listener. This is illustrated through my use of experiential listening to gain insights into lived experiences of mental illness and trauma, which reveals inner wisdom about the listening self that can be negotiated through acousmatic sound.

Type
Articles
Copyright
© Cambridge University Press, 2020.

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

REFERENCES

Andean, J. 2016. Narrative Modes in Acousmatic Music. Organised Sound 21 (3): 192203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Atkinson, S. 2007. Interpretation and Musical Signification in Acousmatic Listening. Organised Sound 12 (2): 113122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Barreiro, D. L. 2010. Sonic Image and Acousmatic Listening. Organised Sound 15 (10), 3542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Batchelor, P. 2015. Acousmatic Approaches to the Construction of Image and Space in Sound Art. Organised Sound 20 (2): 148–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chion, M. 1994. Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Cogan, J. n.d. The Phenomenological Reduction. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. https://iep.utm.edu/phen-red/ (accessed 4 November 2018).Google Scholar
Dax, M. 2012. Eliane Radigue: An Interview. Electronic Beats (Berlin), 12 October. www.electronicbeats.net/eliane-radigue-an-interview/ (accessed 3 July 2020).Google Scholar
Day, M. 2005. Review of Instance by Thembi Soddell. Diffusion E-Newsletter: Sonic Arts Network. http://thembisoddell.com/about (accessed 24 November 2017).Google Scholar
Friedman, N. 2005. Experiential Listening. Journal of Humanistic Psychology 45 (2): 217–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gendlin, E. T. 1973. Experiential Psychotherapy. In Corsini, R. J. (ed.) Current Psychotherapies. Itasca, IL: Peacock, 317–52. www.focusing.org/gendlin/docs/gol_2029.html (accessed 9 October 2018).Google Scholar
Godøy, R. I. 2006. Gestural-Sonorous Objects: Embodied Extensions of Schaeffer’s Conceptual Apparatus. Organised Sound 11 (2): 149–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Isaza, M. 2015. Expanded Listening: An Interview with Francisco López. http://sonicfield.org/2015/09/expanded-listening-an-interview-with-francisco-lopez/ (accessed 15 July 2018).Google Scholar
Kane, B. 2014. Sound Unseen: Acousmatic Sound in Theory and Practice. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kendall, G. S. 2010. Meaning in Electroacoustic Music and the Everyday Mind. Organised Sound 15 (1): 6374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kim, S.-J. 2010. Imaginal Listening: A Quaternary Framework for Listening to Electroacoustic Music and Phenomena of Sound-Images. Organised Sound 15 (1): 4353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
LaBelle, B. 2006. Background Noise: Perspectives on Sound Art. New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M. 2003. Metaphors We Live By, 2nd edn. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
López, F. 2003. Interview for Loop (Chile). www.franciscolopez.net/int_loop.html (accessed 4 October 2018).Google Scholar
Najavits, L. M. 2000. Book Review: Handbook of Experiential Therapy. Psychotherapy Research 10 (1): 235–6.Google Scholar
Ng, E. and Purser, R. 2015. White Privilege and the Mindfulness Movement. www.buddhistpeacefellowship.org/white-privilege-the-mindfulness-movement/ (accessed 11 October 2018).Google Scholar
Oxford English Dictionary. 2020. www.lexico.com/definition/metaphor (accessed 3 July 2020)Google Scholar
Priest, G. 2011. Part I: Sydney Scenes & Sounds. Real Time Arts, June–July. www.realtimearts.net/article/issue103/10347 (accessed 3 July 2020).Google Scholar
Schaeffer, P. 2012. In Search of a Concrete Music, trans. J. Dack and C. North. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Soddell, T. 2019. A Dense Mass of Indecipherable Fear: The Experiential (Non)Narration of Trauma and Madness through Acousmatic Sound. Ph.D. diss., RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. http://researchbank.rmit.edu.au/view/rmit:162786 (accessed 3 July 2020).Google Scholar
Solomos, M. 2016. A Phenomenological Experience of Sound: Notes on Francisco López. https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01789662/document (accessed 21 September 2018).Google Scholar
Verweij, H. and Ijzerman, M. 2010. Five Sound Questions to Verónica Mota. Everyday Listening, 10 March. www.everydaylistening.com/articles/2010/3/10/five-sound-questions-to-veronica-mota.html (accessed 3 July 2020).Google Scholar