EMS Proceedings and Other Publications

Sonic Identification and Listening Strategies Towards a ‘Natural’ Narratology for Electroacoustic Musics

Nicolas Marty

Nicolas Marty, Université Paris-Sorbonne – 1 rue Victor Cousin – 75006 Paris – France


PDF - 178.4 kb
Download the paper


The aim of this presentation is to integrate two narratological notions in the analysis of electroacoustic musics, not as metaphors, but as accurate ways of describing the listener’s apprehension of an acousmatic work. Those notions are “diegesis” and “focalization”. They follow the definition of narrativity given by Monika Fludernik in Towards a ‘natural’ narratology: “narrativity is therefore a function of narrative texts and centers on experientiality of an anthropomorphic nature”. It isn’t necessary that things happen, or that a story be told. Experientiality in itself builds narrativity. I use the term “agentization” as the perceptual process of defining an anthropomorphic being who experiences.
Studying diverse models for music reception (Kaltenecker, Schaeffer, Delalande, etc.) and space apprehension, I put forward three mains domains, linked to three ways of centering experientiality (“focalizations”): ego-centered, hetero-centered and extero-centered. By cross-referencing those with cognitive models, I distinguish between embodied, ecological and semiotic narrativization processes.
I then focus on ecological narrativization processes with the study of “diegetization” as the construction of a diegesis, a narrative world. The question of referentiality is linked to several typological models and arguments, always putting an emphasis on voice as a special case. Drawing a parallel with Kilpatrick’s adaptation of Bakhtin’s “chronotopes” for music, I propose to set apart a referential/contextual diegesis and an abstract/independent one.

EMS12 Proceedings