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Searching for Alternative Histories in Electronic Music through a Survey on Discourses of Space-Place Relations

Kim, Suk-Jun (2016) Searching for Alternative Histories in Electronic Music through a Survey on Discourses of Space-Place Relations. University of Leeds. [Dataset]

This item is part of the Alternative Histories of Electronic Music collection.

Dataset description

Discussing three ways of conceptualizing space in music in Music, Sound and Space, Georgina Born makes a critical observation on the use of spatialisation in electroacoustic music, and more fundamentally, the conceptual framework of the practice on space. Particularly on Denis Smalley’s ‘space form and the acousmatic image’ (Smalley, 2007), she argues that Smalley’s analytical taxonomy ‘offers ultimately an expanded, if rigorous and elegant, sonic formalism’. At the same time, however, she recognises a strain in Smalley’s spatial thinking, ‘a tension between the perspectival and a certain objectivism’ (Born, 2013). This paper aims to explore this strain or tension, which it proposes can be witnessed throughout the history of electronic music. The main topic of this paper meets Born’s argument sideways, by which I mean that I became aware of this issue and started questioning the practice I was engaging in as a composer in a more practical and personal way. The paper aims to question whether the long-held primacy of spatial thinking in electronic music may have resulted in and continues to lead the dominant discourse in the history of electronic music, and therefore, whether, based on such suspicion, a critical observation of the history of electronic music would engender a passage toward under-recognised dimensions of electronic music practice. To argue for such a question, the paper conducts a critical survey on the relations of space and place as sonic concepts explored in the discourses and practice of electronic music. Particularly, through the survey, the paper posits that the spatial thinking in electronic music may have been borne, more than anything else, out of the so-called ‘Studio’, and that a set of peculiar attitudes toward listening to, creating, and performing sounds in the Studio, which I have termed ’Studio Aesthetics’ elsewhere, should be teased out for analysis. The Studio Aesthetics is a set of compositional aesthetics and/or a particular set of attitude toward composing that has been established in, and enhanced by, a studio and furthermore in a concert hall where we spatialise or diffuse the work, the place where we practice the bracketing of our body, and the practice of constructing or engineering sensibility toward sublime spaces. Furthermore, by surveying the space-place relations in the history of electronic music, the paper aims to discuss the tension or uneasiness ‘place’ as a sonic context often brings about in the discourse of electronic music, focusing not only on the mechanisms based on which continuous attempts are made to subsume place within the normative spatial thinking, but on the resilience of place that persists to offer alternatives.

Subjects: W000 - Creative arts & design > W300 - Music
W000 - Creative arts & design > W300 - Music > W310 - Musicianship/performance studies > W316 - Electronic/electro-acoustic music performance
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures > School of Music
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Date deposited: 27 Jul 2017 19:49



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