EMS Proceedings and Other Publications

‘Mimetic Space’: A conceptual framework for the discussion analysis and creation of mimetic discourse and structure

Rajmil Fischman

Keele University, UK


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Electroacoustic mimetic discourse opened new semiotic channels through its potential to immerse the listener in virtual sonic realities. However, in spite of human beings’ inherent mechanisms for the construction of meaning out of mimetic discourse, the product of years of creative practice exploiting mimesis suggests the need for further refinement of such conceptual tools. This paper aims to provide an initial version of a framework and terminology for the discussion, analysis and creation of music that articulates mimetic discourse and structure. It aims to provide parallel and complementary approaches to those of spectro-morphology. It proposes the notion of multi-dimensional mimetic space, taking as its point of departure Emmerson’s Language Grid, constructing additional axes representing compositional continua, similar in function to those proposed by spectro-morphology, but applicable to mimetic material. The argument also focuses on paradigms in virtual acoustic space (Wishart), extending these to interactions with physical space involving live performance.