This article seeks to explore the proposed notion of ‘context-based composition’ by examining the nature of ‘real-world’ context. It does this by studying the way in which listeners interpret sounds, working towards a deeper understanding of what it is that we mean by ‘real-world’ sound and context-based composition. These discussions are then utilised to explore the concept of what it means to compose context-based works and suggests that new potentials are opened up by a closer examination of the definition of context-based composition, one which liberates itself from a concern over an absolute physical nature of sounds and which embraces the use of both abstract and referential sounds. This journey highlights the importance of memory and experience within processes of interpretation and the creation of context-based compositions, and questions divisions between the virtual and the real.
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