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Universalising the acousmatics: storytelling and culture-specific works

Panos Amelides

Panos Amelides, De Montfort University


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Abstract Mannerism and the use of aesthetic clichés in its language have isolated acousmatic music from a potential universal audience. The term acousmatic here is being seen from the perspective of acousmatic space-form (everything that can be recorded and played back). This paper proposes a new musical vernacular regarding acousmatic creativity based on culture-specific sonic and storytelling elements, related directly to the sentiment of the specific cultural group. Most acousmatic works seem to have inherited a particular style governed by the “unity of sentiment” as Rosen describes it (Rosen, 2010). On the other hand, according to Truax, cultural sonic elements might include soundmarks, keynote sounds, sound events and sound romances (Truax, 2001). Those elements combined with recorded speech can form a storytelling device, utilizing the inherited sounds and stories derived from a community. Taking as a case study a site-specific sound installation presented at a rural audience in Southern Greece, using as context vehicle Smalley’s ecological concept of acousmatic space-form (Smalley, 2007), Landy’s “something to hold on to factor” (Landy, 1994) and expanding the notion of Young, that the acousmatic medium has the unique capacity to function as a mirror held up to lived experience (Young, 2009), this paper explores possibilities to universalise the acousmatic practice and expand its audience.

EMS14 Proceedings