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A Situated Approach to Composition

Oral qualifying exam presentation on proposed dissertation topic.

Sean Peuquet

on 28 April 2011

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Transcript of A Situated Approach to Composition

A Situated Approach to Composition: Discourse on Space and Place Addressing the Integration of Music and Environment Conceptual Framework Music and [insert other field here] for proposing a place-based approach to musical intervention Towards a Model of Composition Music as Sociological Intervention Music as Phenomenological Engagement with Place as a trans-(yeah, I said it) disciplinary framework Notions of place serve as a primary for integrating music and environment
Analysis of historical approaches to the integration of music and environment in terms of the proposed model. Literature review music as a means of disclosing place Composing Space Place objectified space
existential space
feelingful dimension of experience
particular physical
absolute (wrong)
homogeneous Phenomenological Considerations of Place Place is prior to Space (E. Casey) How is place sensed? Issues of Translation indetermincy of translation (W.V. Quine)
"translation" implies a translation of meanings
music semiotics further confound notions of meaningful translation (Nattiez)
translation engage with representation Temporal verus Spatial Experience Authors of Note:
Yi-Fu Tuan, Gaston Bachelard, Henri Lefebvre, and Doreen Massey 20th century physics undermines historical distinction.
Music is not solely temporal nor is "art" spatial, both are necessarily situated in "spacetime": a 4D realm of experience subject relativistic motion. How can music disclose a "sense" of place?

Objectifed experience rather than objectified music
Christian Wolff (objectified social interaction)
Max Neuhaus (time pieces)
Morton Feldman (performing the 2nd string quartet)

The distinct sonic event
continutity and contradition
"throwness" and "falling" of dasein
sound as a marker for distinct experience
Anthropology, Cultural Geography, Ethnomusicology and Critical Theory acoustics/psychoacoustics aural experience focus on the musical encounter, not just the sound.
how can the social context of performance shape our intuitive perceptions of place as object rather than music as object?
What kinds of pre-given places lend themselves to meaningful musical intervention from a sociological perspective?
Social analysis and critique suggests modes of sonic intervention. Authors of Note:
Casey, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Husserl, and Salis Place is always implied through perception and situated experience "As places is sensed, senses are placed;
as places make sense, senses make place." - Feld Merleau-Ponty's notion of Depth and Husserl's notion of Horizon Intuitive perception and the sensing of place Kaluli of Bosavi Region in Papua New Guinea (S. Feld)
metaphorical relationship between music and place
notions of "voicing" and "listening" in deep reciprocity Pintupi of Central Australia (F. Myers)
The world is marked through a coherent constellation of pre-given places. What about modern Western society? "When I speak of architecture and music, I am not evoking the ghosts of Pythagoras and Palladio, nor am I referring to the ideal, a priori order of the "Music of the Spheres," or some kind of facile superficial architecural and musical impressionism or expressionism. I am interested in architecture and music as grounds for the present and poetic processes for the making of the future." - Marcos Novak Our modern understanding of place is shaped by:
re-territorialization Authors of note:
Deleuze and Guattari, Ian Buchanan, Guy Debord,
Jonathan Sterne, Baudrillard, Jonathan Sterne Place is therefore "disclosed" to us, not created.

Music therefore must seek to disclose or make salient the implicit understanding of place that is inherent to our understanding of experience. This may perhaps be discussed in the same terms as Heidegger talks about dasein being "thrown" and "falling". composition designs arranges shapes constructs Max Neuhaus
Bill Fontana
Christian Moller
Brian Eno
John Cage
Maryanne Amacher
Chris Chaffe
Alvin Lucier Notions of soundscape, acoustic ecology, and site specificity necessarily site specific only so far as the "concert hall" is similarly site specific I
Apply the model as an approach to situated composition III
Evaluate the efficacy of the work in disclosing the sensing of place II
Perform/install the work(s)
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