Reconsidering the Model Listener

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Reconsidering the Model Listener An Exploration in the Critical Analysis of Electroacoustic Music
Garrison, Travis J
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[Gainesville, Fla.]
University of Florida
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1 online resource (97 p.)

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Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
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University of Florida
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Committee Chair:
Sain, James P
Committee Members:
Richards, Paul S
Dos Santos, Silvio
Stenner, Jack E
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Composers ( jstor )
Electroacoustics ( jstor )
Music analysis ( jstor )
Music appreciation ( jstor )
Music composition ( jstor )
Music criticism ( jstor )
Musical aesthetics ( jstor )
Musical modes ( jstor )
Philosophy of music ( jstor )
Semiotics ( jstor )
Music -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
composition -- computer -- electroacoustic -- electronic -- hermeneutics -- interpretation -- music -- semiotics
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
born-digital ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Music thesis, Ph.D.


Composers, technicians, and performers have spent the last century exploring different ways in which electronics can assist in creating entirely new sound worlds for musical exploration.  By the very nature of the field, this exploration has required knowledge not only of traditional musical practices but also topics such as computer science, electrical engineering, mathematics, and acoustics.  Accordingly, much of the literature published on topics relating to electroacoustic music is technical in nature, including both scientific research and technical discussions of techniques for the generation or manipulation of electronic sound.  There has been a parallel interest in developing “theories” of electroacoustic music: a body of work typically concerned with the arrangement of sonic elements from the perspective of a composer creating a work or of a theorist analyzing a work.  Combining these theoretical writings with the technical writings described above, it seems as if the majority of the scholarship within the field of electroacoustic music is concerned with the discussion of technical, theoretical, and aesthetic issues that are relevant to the creation of the work.  Comparatively little has been written about the resulting pieces of electroacoustic music as aesthetic objects – works of art separated from their modes of production and underlying structures, and understood “on their own terms.” I propose in this dissertation a model for a discourse of electroacoustic music that de-emphasizes compositional procedure and the pre-compositional intentions of the composer and explores the “intentions of the work” as experienced between the work and the critical listener.  Models for the criticism and analysis of electroacoustic music will be explored, drawing primarily upon methodologies from the fields of literary and critical theory – specifically semiotics and hermeneutics.  These models will be applied to specific works of electroacoustic music as a way of initiating critical discussion of such works as aesthetic objects, recognizing the importance of the listening experience as separated from the methods utilized to create the work. ( en )
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In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
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Includes vita.
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Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2013.
Adviser: Sain, James P.
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by Travis J Garrison.

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Copyright Garrison, Travis J. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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2 2013 Travis Garrison


3 To my family


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am thankful for the assistance, guidance, and mentorship given by my chair, James Paul Sain throughout this process. Additionally, I am thankful for the contributions of the many teachers who have contributed to my musical and scholarly growth over the past years: Jon Appleton, Charles Dodge, Paul Koonce, Chris Mercer, Peter Otto, Larry Polansky, Miller Puckette, and Paul Richards. Special thanks go to Steven Takasugi for his willingness to help me understand early on what being a composer is all about; I would have likely followed a very different career path were it not for his mentorship a decade ago. Additional thanks to Silvio dos Santos and Margaret Butler for their assistance as my work branched into broader musicological concerns and to my friends in Gainesville for helping me to remain sane over the past few years. And finally to Sarah, for her support and love.


5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 8 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 11 2 LITERATURE REVIEW AND EXPLANATION OF TERM S AND GOALS ............... 18 ................................ ................................ ... 18 Music Criticism ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 22 The Problem of Evaluation ................................ ................................ ...................... 26 Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 28 Recent Steps in New Directions ................................ ................................ ............. 32 Intention/Reception ................................ ................................ .......................... 32 Listening ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 33 Goals for this Project ................................ ................................ ............................... 35 3 MUSICAL MEANING AND INTERPRETAT ION ................................ ..................... 37 Musical Meaning ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 38 Reference (Semiotics) ................................ ................................ ............................ 39 Interpretation (Hermeneutics) ................................ ................................ ................. 41 Applications of These I deas to Electroacoustic Music ................................ ............ 44 The Next Step(s) ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 44 4 SEMIOTIC REFERENCES IN TWO WORKS BY MARK WINGATE AND JONTY HARRISON ................................ ................................ ................................ 47 A Brief Synopsis of The Acousmatic ................................ ................................ ....... 47 Semiotics ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 49 Analyses ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 53 Mark Wingate Pufferfish (1996) ................................ ................................ ..... 53 Jonty Harrison Unsound Objects (1995) ................................ ........................ 58 Concluding Thoughts on This Topic ................................ ................................ ....... 63 5 VOX METALLICA ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 65


6 Background ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 66 Initial Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 69 Further Interpretation ................................ ................................ .............................. 71 Concluding Thoughts ................................ ................................ .............................. 75 6 THE COMPOSER AS SELF CRITIC: TWO WORKS BY TRAVIS GARRISON ..... 78 Crosstalk (2010) ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 80 selectric.metal (2011) ................................ ................................ .............................. 85 Final Thoughts ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 89 7 CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 90 LIS T OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................... 92 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ............................ 97


7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 5 1 EA and Rock sound/style analysis of Vox Metallica ................................ .............. 77


8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4 1 A Basic Frame work of Peircean Semiotics ................................ ........................... 64


9 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy RE CONSIDERING THE MODEL LISTENER: AN EXPLORATION IN THE CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF ELECTROACOUSTIC MUSIC By Travis Garrison May 2013 Chair: James Paul Sain Major: Music Co mposers, technicians, and p erformers have spent the last century exploring different ways in which electronics can assist in creating entirely new sound worlds for musical exploration. By the very nature of the field, this exploration has required knowledge not only of traditional musical practices but also topics such as computer science, electrical engineering, mathematics, and acoustics. Accordingly, much of the literature published on topics relating to electroacoustic music is technical in nature, including both scientific res earch and technical discussions of techniques for the generation or manipulation of electronic sound There has been a parallel interest in the arrangement of sonic el ements from the perspective of a composer creating a work or of a theorist analyzing a work. Combining these theoretical writings with the technical writings described above, it seems as if the majority of the scholarship within the field of electroacoust ic music is concerned with the discussion of technical, theoretical, and aesthetic issues that are relevant to the creation of the work. Comparatively little has been written about the resulting pieces of electroacoustic music as aesthetic objects


10 works of art separated from their modes of production and underlying structures, and I propose in this dissertation a model for a discourse of electroacoustic music that de emphasizes compositional procedure and the pre compositional intentions of work and the critical listener. Models for the criticism and analysis of electroacoustic music are explored, drawin g primarily upon methodologies from the fields of literary and critical theory specifically semiotics and hermeneutics These models will be applied to specific works of electroacoustic music as a way of initiating critical discussion of such works as a esthetic objects recognizing the importance of the listening experience as separated from the methods utilized to create the work.


11 CHAPTER 1 I NTRODUCTION acoustic music seems driven by composers more interested in Jon Appleton 1 The promise of utilizing electronic devices in the creation of music has always been to allow any possible sound, actual or imagined, to be used as musical material. recorded birdsong in Pines of Rome to the hyper sophisticated acousmatic music and interactive laptop performance of today, composers, technicians, and performers have spent the last century exploring different ways in which electronics can assist in creating enti rely new sound worlds for musical exploration. By the very nature of the field, this exploration has required knowledge not only of traditional musical practices but also topics such as computer science, electrical engineering, mathematics, and acoustics. Accordingly, much of the literature published in books, articles, and conference proceedings on topics relating to electroacoustic music is technical in nature, including gen eration or manipulation of electronic sound Aside from the strictly technical literature, there has been a parallel interest in the arrangement of sonic elements from the perspective of a composer creating a work or of a theorist analyzing a pre existing work. Discussions of algorithmic composition, this category. Combining these th eoretical writings with the technical writings described above, it seems as if the majority of the scholarship within the field of electroacoustic 1 Contemporary Music Review 15, Part 1 (1996): 67.


12 music is concerned with the discussion of technical, theoretical, and aesthetic issues that are relevant to t he creation of the work. This bias is also reflected in many composer authored program notes written for CD inserts or concert programs, oftentimes focusing exclusively on the technical or compositional procedures utilized during the composition of the wo rk. 2 Such writing oftentimes disregards or misrepresents the nature of the listening experience either due to an unintentional oversight intentional obfuscation, or as a result of an assumption that a listener will be able to perceive these compositional procedures and find them meaningful to their experience. 3 Comparatively little has been written about the resulting pieces of electroacoustic music as aesthetic objects works of art separated from their modes of production and underlying structures, an from the Jon Appleton quote found above, the scholarship of electroacoustic music seems driven by writers more interested in logical construction than in listening. As one of the few writers to address this issue, Leigh Landy has issued a call for the 4 Landy has partially answered this call through his involvement in the Intention/Rec eption 2 It should be acknowledged that although composer authored program notes do contribute toward the bias I am describing, it is also difficult for the creator of a work to assume the position of the Kantian disinterested observer; hence the need for critical interpretation by other individuals. 3 This is a corollary to the problem of discussing serial or twelve tone music simply as the by product of a tone row or mat rix, thereby disregarding the ability (or inability) of the listener to perceive these underlying structures apart from other, more surface level musical features. 4 Organised Sound 4, no. 1 (1999): 61.


13 proposed system of triangulation between composer, work, and audience, I propose in this dissertation a model for a discourse of electroacoustic music that de e mphasizes compositional procedure and the pre textual (pre compositional) intentions of the and the critical listener. Models for the criticism and analysis of electroacous tic music will be explored, drawing primarily upon methodologies from the fields of music analysis between fixed media electroacoustic works and works of literat ure. These models will be applied to specific works of electroacoustic music as a way of initiating critical discussion of such works as aesthetic objects recognizing the importance of the listening experience as separated from the methods utilized to cr eate the work. The two sides of this dichotomy in the existing literature will be henceforth referred to as a composer centered approach (a discourse of elements that entered into the creation of a work) and a listener centered approach (a discourse of th e perceptual experience of the work). apply to a broad range of electroacoustic compositions, nor to analyze for the sake of analy sis, nor to dismiss any previous literature as being in any way misguided. Rather, the goal is to demonstrate that a certain body of electroacoustic compositions has not been discussed in a manner that seems to be most appropriate, and to make a first att empt toward a meaningful discourse of these compositions. Although some sort of analysis will be included in later chapters of this dissertation, more of an emphasis will be placed on the act of criticism informed by careful listening. This listener cen tered


14 approach to the discourse of electroacoustic music is being proposed to counteract a larger agenda of bringing electroacoustic music studies in line with larger trends within the field of musicology particularly recent trends in the area of music criticism. For the vement with some of the music we find moving, enlightening, provoking, oppressive, ambivalent, and more. Talking 6 Terms and limitations. Although the terms electronic music and computer music are often used to describe th e sort of works discussed in this dissertation, I will simply use the term electroacoustic music to refer to the wide variety of contemporary art music that utilizes electronic elements. 7 This includes such sub genres as musique concrte, acousmatic music, computer music 8 sound art, electronic improvisation, and mixed media pieces. Additionally, the discussion will be limited to pieces falling into the CD/DVD/computer playback in the home or for diffusion from a playback source in concert performance; not installations or works with any live performance component Although the body of works involving live electro nics or live instruments plus electronic elements would provide a far greater number of possibilities for critical discussion, the 6 Critical Musicology and the Responsibility of Response: Selected Essays (Burlington: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2006), 48. 7 Though this is a common ly used term, some inconsistencies exist with regards to the question of spelling; whether electroacoustic or electro acoustic is more appropriate. This author has adopted the usage of the former spelling, although the latter will surface in several quote d passages. 8 Which may or may not be a meaningful sub genre in an era when the computer has assumed roles previously held by the tape machine, synthesizer, signal processor, mixer, etc.


15 ensuing discussion would necessarily broaden the scope of this project exponentially and therefore impractically. 9 One furthe r limitation of this project will be the selection of compositions that use Wh ile the author recognizes that critical discussion of all types of fixed media electroacoustic music would be extremely beneficial and certainly welcomed, this final limitation has been levied due to the desire to explore ideas of semiotics and interpretat ion critical methods that are much more readily applicable to pieces with referential content. The pieces discussed throughout this dissertation may be most appropriately categorized as acousmatic music although a precise definition of that term has no t been agreed upon within the literature. In The Oxford Handbook of Computer Music Roger Dean uses the term acousmatic fixed digital sound structures ready for acoustic diffusion through loudspeakers without performers energizing convent 10 As this definition is material, frequently refers to aco ustic phenomena and situations from everyday life, and, most fundamentally of all, relies on perceptual realities rather than conceptual speculation to unlock the potential for musical discourse and musical structure from the 9 in electroacoustic music, laptop ensembles in particular, could (and should be) a dissertation on its own. 10 The Oxford Handbook of Computer Music ed. Roger T. Dean (New York: Oxford U niversity Press, 2009), 3.


16 inherent properties of the sou nd objects themselves and the arbiter of this process is 11 Throughout this dissertation, I will reference frequently. Although y individual who experiences a piece of music through the act of listening, the particular nature of the most commonly found electroacoustic music. Contemporary music has never found an enormous audience am ong the general public, and electroacoustic music remains an obscure oddity even to many of those entrenched in other areas of modern music making. Most electroacoustic music concerts (at least in the United States) take place within the context of colleg e and university music programs or dedicated new music (oftentimes electroacoustic only) festivals and conferences, the attendance at said events being comprised primarily of composers and performers within the field. The specialist nature of the current audience for electroacoustic music bears mention in relation to Umberto Model Reader With reference to communicative texts, Eco writes that to the expressio ns he uses. To make his text communicative, the author has to assume that the ensemble of codes he relies upon is the same as that shared by his possible reader. The author has thus to foresee a model of the possible reader (hereafter Model Reader) suppo sedly able to deal interpretatively with the expressions in the same way as the author 12 11 Gordon Monro (accessed April 11, 2013 ) 12 Umberto Eco, The Role of the Reader: Explorations in the Semiotics of Texts (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1979), 7.


17 Given the makeup of the current audience for electroacoustic music, it is conceivable that many composers have constructed a Model Reader (Listener) of their music who happens to be a knowledgeable specialist within the field. This may explain the focus within the literature on the creation of the work rather than the reception of the work mentioned above and explored further within the ne xt chapter. For this dissertation, however, I envision a Model Listener who is not a specialist, and who may have very little understanding of exactly how a piece of electroacoustic music is composed. This Model Listener is intelligent and thoughtful, imaginative, ready to listen carefully and critically, and willing to interpret an electroacoustic composition without explicit knowledge within this text should be understood to refer to this Model Listener. By exploring how such a Model Listener may be able to fruitfully interpret a work of electroacoustic music, this auth or hopes to initiate further consideration of the non specialist audience not only within the literature but also with regards to concert programming and marketing.


18 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW AND EXPLANATION OF TERMS AND GOALS e two key issues that are often worrisome about theoretical and, in particular, critical texts concerning electro acoustic music. They tend to be written for very knowledgeable specialists, and they tend to be more focused on sonic construction or a compo Leigh Landy 13 hinted at a significant gap in the literature of electroacoustic music. This gap can be most simply described as a lack of serious critical discussion of individual electroacoustic that are most discussed, with authors choosing to spend the majority of their time focusing on technology or compositional procedure. This tendency can be easily i llustrated in two books published in the last few years that claim to offer overviews of the field: The Cambridge Companion to Electronic Music 14 and The Oxford Handbook of Computer Music 15 These two volumes were chosen for the high profile nature of their contributing authors, their well known publishing companies (and thus wide availability through booksellers and university libraries), and the fact that the chapters selected for inclusion in both volumes largely display the same focus. Relative to this dissertation, it will be listening experience focusing instead on issues that are of more relevance to composers. 13 Electroacoustic Music: Analytical Perspectives Notes 60.1 (September 2003): 162. 14 Nick Collins and J The Cambridge Companion to Electronic Music (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007). 15 Dean, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Computer Music


19 The Cambridge Companion to Electronic Music contains several chapters written 16 These chapters were assembled by the editors in an effort to provide an overview of the field of electro nic music, and are broadly segmented into the categories of history, practice, and foundations. 17 It is an interesting commentary on the field to note Any book that seeks to provide an overview of a given subject has a cohesive manner for the benefit of individuals without pre existing background The Origins of E lectronic Music chapter on A History of Programming and Music are two such chapters that relate and characterize historical events and trends in a purely positivistic fashion, devoid of criticism or interpretation. Chapters such as these do well in their purpose of disseminating established facts about technology a nd history. Relative to this of essays that seek to simply describe historical or technological facts, and the failure of certain authors to delve into areas such as a esthetics, criticism, and reception when dealing with appropriate topics. A composer Algorithmic Composition Here, Essl describes several approaches that composers have used throughout histo ry to incorporate algorithms as a way of generating musical 16 Collins and The Cambridge Companion to Electronic Music rear cover. 17 Though the editors use these terms in their introduction, it is curious that the actual section headings respectively.


20 material. The emphasis here is on compositional technique; the only method Essl gives the listener to appreciate the resulting music is by appreciating the process by which the music was generate d. This chapter is certainly useful for suggesting algorithmic methods to composers, and can provide frameworks by which such a piece of music may be analyzed. However, Essl neglects to treat the resulting music as an aesthetic object that may be appreci ated on any number of levels by a hypothetical listener. 18 Trends in Electroacoustic Music within the field such as microsound, sou ndscape, the application of acousmatic theories, and noise music. Similarly to Essl, Hugill, and Wang, Barrett provides historical overviews of these various trends along with certain technical and theoretical ideas that contribute to their generation. I n characterizing these trends, Barrett stays within the composer centered paradigm of treating a piece of music as a product of its component parts. The goal of The Oxford Handbook of Computer Music is similar to that of The Cambridge Companion to provid of the art cross section of the most field 19 At just over twice the length of The Cambridge Companion the scope is somewhat broader. Many of the methodological shortcomings found in The Cam bridge Companion are also found here, as certain articles serve only to describe historical facts or technical procedures. Once again, almost all discussion of a piece of electroacoustic music is completely tied up in 18 For example, my own work Mutations I ut ilized an extremely strict algorithm for the selection and ordering of pitched material. When listening to the work, this algorithmic material is by far the least interesting component of the piece, serving only to populate the structures defined by compo sitional choices regarding phrasing, dynamics, and orchestration. 19 Dean, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Computer Music dust jacket.


21 explanations of how the piece is gene rated which techniques or ideologies went into the creation of the piece, not taking into account the listening experience. and perception Leigh Landy contributed a chapter to this volume, but his subject matter is somewhat different than his listener chapter is entitled Sound Based Music 4 All and in i t Landy discusses various ways in which sound based music 20 can be given a broader awareness outside of the current (rather small) community. By educating listeners not only in the techniques behind the creation of music but also in ways to experience and appreciate this form of music, Landy has demonstrated his willingness to value the listener as intelligent and aesthetically minded. 21 Although it may seem as if I am condemning these individual authors for focusing on technical and theoretical issues, that is certainly not the case. Information such as these authors convey is admittedly necessary in a book with these goals. As complete volumes, however, there is a noticeable lack of any discussion of music as an aesthetic object that is experienced in rea l time by a real human listener. This bias on the part of the editors draws into question the intended audience for such books. Composers may be able to use the technical and stylistic information to assist in the creation of new works, and the historica l information can provide a framework within which a composer 20 electroacoustic music but also sound design for film and video games. Leigh Landy, Understanding the Art of Sound Organization (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007), 17. 21 This chapter stands in contrast to certain The Cambridge Companion where she espouses an overly optimistic view that the availability of affordable technology and free software will automatically result in a greater awareness and appreciation of el ectroacoustic music ignoring virtually any factor that would ground her utopian musings in reality.


22 may situate their work. However, composers are not offered any information to assist in composing pieces that are themselves anything beyond an application of compositional techniques. Similar ly, a (non composing) listener, scholar, or critic may be able to use these volumes to provide historical and stylistic backgrounds within which to frame pieces of music, but is offered nothing in the way of information that may assist them in appreciating the unfolding of a piece over time or even (on the broadest scale) as anything other than the output of a particular theoretical model. Music Criticism If a critical approach to the discourse of electroacoustic music is to be advocated, a brief overview o f music criticism is in order. Music criticism has traditionally encompassed areas such as descriptive journalism and value judgment, but has recently taken on a much broader definition and somewhat of a narrower audience. Music critics of previous gener ations reached their audiences through newspapers and appropriate metaphors, images and adjectives, with only occasional reference to 22 As musical landscape s shifted throughout the twentieth century and new works found less of an audience among the general public, coverage of contemporary music in the mass media has largely disappeared. Notable exceptions to this trend in the United States s work for The New Yorker The Village Voice In differences in tone and methodology are apparent. For example, the nineteenth century 22 Grove Music Online Oxford Music Online /article/grove/music/40589 (accessed October 19, 2010).


23 mo c onnection between the choral movement and the rest of the work, stating that the th e chorus altogether. 23 While late twentieth century critics such as Gann, Johnson, and Ross also describe the works at hand and characterize features that they are somewhat simply due to the fact that Ayrton was more irritable and opinionated than these modern day critics, but is more likely a function of his place within Western cultural ritics and science, as divorced from mystical or spiritual answers to probl ems. Thus, critiques nature features elements that are symmetrical and logically connected, and we have determined that nature works of art with 23 The Attentive Listener ed. Harry Haskell (London: Faber and Faber, 1995), 83 85.


24 length and confusing choral section have pushed the balance in the direction of In the twentieth and twenty first centuries, such systems for logically deducing what art is acceptable or unacceptable based upon universal standards does not (or perhaps can not ) exist. Due to space limitations and practical concerns, it is unfeasible to attempt to tackle the question of whether postmodern thought truly does exist on a broad scale in contemporary society; however, it is safe to state that pluralism or the valuing of several different viewpoints, is an integr al component of our contemporary cultural landscape. Accordingly, these modern critics stop short of issuing broad scale value judgments of musical works, presumably because they realize such an effort would require much more in the way of aesthetic specu lation than their editors have New Yorker article on Philip amusing than venomous 24 and sets the stage well for his article c losing optimism Apart from their desire not to objectively cast value judgment on musical works, critics such as Ross, Johnson, and Gann may be motivated by other societal concerns. In their posit ions as regular contributors to periodicals with a large non specialist 24 nted sense of dj vu: a rapid onset of churning arpeggios and chugging minor key progressions dashes any hope that the composer may have struck off in a startling new direction. At times, it seems as though he had launched Microsoft Arpeggio on a compute r and gone off to have tea with, say, Richard Gere. But marvelous things can happen when The New Yorker November 5, 2007, 98.


25 The Village Voice are overwhelmingly positive in n ature. 25 Rather than publicly attacking music that he did awareness of music that he felt had some cultural or musical value. Alex Ross has taken this task even further using his articles in The New Yorker to educate the public on a variety of issues surrounding contemporary music in addition to providing concert reviews. As the nature of music criticism in general media outlets has changed, so has the relationship betw een criticism and musicology the musicologist Joseph Kerman argued that a preoccupation with analysis, letely ignored the question of artistic value; he urged others to adopt a wider stance of criticism in their work. 26 Ensuing music scholarship did undergo a change, focusing on the sociology of music, its political meanings and its cultural contexts. 27 Th e scholarship resulting from this change of focus is sometimes referred to as the New Musicology or Critical Musicology. In addressing the nature of these endeavors, Lawrence Kramer wrote of three ways in ves critical interpretation, which presupposes acts of historically informed interpretation as a basic disciplinary activity; philosophical critique, which engages a concern with the character of knowledge in 25 Tom Johnson, The Voice of New Music (Editions 75, 1991). 26 Critical Inquiry 7, no. 2 (Winter 1980): 319, see also Joseph Kerman, Contemplating Music: Challenges to Musicology (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University P ress, 1985). 27 Grove Music Online


26 general and of musical knowledge in particular; and critical reflection, which entails disciplined self 28 faceted and still undergoing changes, it is apparent that the definition of criticism has move d away from journalistic reporting and value judgment and more into the domain of the critical reflection and interpretation as practiced by musicologists. The goal of this project is to initiate a critical discourse of electroacoustic music that has the ability to straddle these two areas. While critical interpretation, critique, and reflection are very much needed within the academic scholarship of electroacoustic music, this discourse will also illuminate features of electroacoustic pieces that seem to be most apparent to the uninitiated listener: narrative, referentiality, and the like; thus implying potential applications within the field of music journalism. The Problem of Evaluation As outlined above, much historical music criticism has focused on t he evaluation academic study of music. The philosopher Malcolm Budd has written on the difficulties 29 Budd claims that the primary metric of value judgment of interest to the artist (and presumably as a work of art. his book Values of Art Budd proposes that the artistic value of a work of art is 28 Lawrence Kramer, Interpreting Music ( Berkeley : University of California Press, 2011 ), 65 29 Malcolm Budd, Values of Art: Pictures, Poetry, and Music (New York: Penguin Books USA, 1995), 1.


27 the intrinsi c value of the experience the work offers 30 Such a method of ascribing value to a work of art is thus closely tied in with an r elevant in their wide reaching scope. The simple notion that a work can be differently evaluated along a number of measures can go a long way in undermining any value art istic value lies in the intrinsic value of the experience the work offers can be problematic. This methodology places the value of the work unnecessarily on a psychological plane. In this model, the value is found in our experience of the work, not withi n the work itself. Thus, it is difficult to extend such a philosophy to determining the quality of a work and not simply the quality of experiencing the work. electroacousti c music and approaching them from various angles, the notion of objective musical value will not hold a central place in the discussion. It should be participants in conte mporary music culture can probably recall experiencing an unequivocally bad piece. Were the principles outlined in this project to be applied in the service of journalistic criticism, the critic would have a responsibility to discuss all works presented f or review 30 Musical Worlds: New Directions in the Philosophy of Music ed. Philip Alperson (University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998), 94.


28 ba enlightening, provoking, oppressive, or ambivalent. Analysis Any significant discussion of a particular work of music will necessarily involve at least a small measure of descriptive musical analysis and this project is no exception. Several attempts have been made in recent years to extend the discourse of musical electroacoustic music ; as extended essays on particular compositions these analyses are perhaps the closest thing within the literature to what I am proposing. Rather than dealing with issues of t echnology or composition, notions of value, quality, interpretation, or relation to external structures, such analyses primarily seek to discover and describe ways in which the constituent parts of a piece of music combine to create the whole. Techniques for analyzing instrumental music in this fashion include motivic, harmonic, and formal analysis, Schenkerian reductive analysis, semiotic approaches, g the end result away from any scientific or aesthetic goals and scale alternatives, to judge how i t would have been if the composer had done this instead of 31 a piece of music works not work. 31 Nicholas Cook, A Guide to Musical Analysis (New York: W.W. Norton 1987), 232.


29 Attempts to mount analyses of electroacoustic music have explored a variety of As If (for string trio and synthesized tape), Mary Simoni applies traditional methods of pitch and rhythm based musical analysis to the instrumental parts i n combination with some (limited) discussion of the tape part via spectrographic display. 32 Riverrun utilizes sonograms in conjunction with some limited notation of pitched elements on a five line staff to illustrate spectral motion throughout the piece. 33 In an The Sea Darkens (from A Study in White ), Kristian Twombly also relie 34 Others have adop ted linguistic approaches to the analysis of electroacoustic mimetic or an aural discourse. 35 aural discourse obtain th eir structure through the interaction of elements in a purely sonic (or traditionally musical) fashion with little to no reference to the extramusical. The mimetic discourse refers to works whose elements interact based upon mimesis, or their imitation of extramusical elements. As Emmerson acknowledges, many pieces obtain their discursive language through a combination of these two approaches. 32 As If Analytical Methods of Electroacoustic Music ed. Mary Simoni (New York: Routledge, 2006), 55 88. 33 Riverrun Analytical Methods of Electroacoustic Music 187 238. 34 The Sea Darkens Electroacoustic Music: Analytical Perspectives ed. Thomas Licata (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002), 217 235. 35 Sim The Language of Electroacoustic Music ed. Simon Emmerson (New York: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1986), 17 39.


30 In contrast to the analyses detailed above, which seek to describe features of a composition by analyzing the comp leted product, other scholars have written analyses of electroacoustic music that take advantage of having access to software code, tables of mathematical figures, or other information that went into the creation of the piece. Several chapters in the book Electroacoustic Music: Analytical Perspectives fall into this Sequence Symbols begins with a description of his original ideas for the piece, continues with a discussion of the software instruments and signal processors he created in the Music 360 language in order to realize the piece, and concludes with a lengthy discussion of the pitched elements of the piece, utilizing standard musical notation. 36 analysis of Jean s Contours though also including sonograms of the completed work, is largely concerned with a discussion of the Music V code that Risset 37 Analytical approaches such as these can be very useful in identifying and alities between sections of a piece can be explored, underlying structures can be exposed, and timbral, motivic, and semiotic trajectories can be traced across the length of a work. While these methods are critical in discussing issues internal to a piece they fail to explicitly address the relationship between the work and the audience, and oftentimes are not illuminating 36 Sequence Symbols Electroacoustic Music: Analytical P erspectives 185 216. 37 Claude Contours Electroacoustic Music: Analytical Perspectives 153.


31 of the aspects of a piece that may be most salient to the listener. In particular, The Sea Darkens (fro m A Study in White ) focuses heavily on describing in a dry mathematical fashion the elements of the piece that and only describe features of a piece that a listener is clearly aware of. However, pure analysis as most often practiced in the literature is insufficient on its own to address areas of inquiry such as perception, aesthetics, phenomenology, or interpretation. In characterizing a similar problem concerning the preoccupation with organicism within systems of analysis as practiced in the mid 20 th century, Joseph Kerman wrot e: sophistication and insight. Even the best of them leave the reader un easy. They come up with fascinating data and with undoubtedly relevant data; yet one always has a sinking feeling that something vital has been overlooked. For however heavily we may weigh the criterion of organicism in dealing with the masterpieces of German instrumental music, we know that it is less important for other music t hat we value. its organicism may be a more or less automatic and trivial characteristic. Its aesthetic value must depend on other criteria. Cannot a criticism be developed that w ill explain, validate, or just plain illuminate these other 38 In a review of the book Electroacoustic Music: Analytical Perspectives Leigh Landy summarizes the shortcomings of the analyses contained within by noting that 39 38 39


32 Recent Steps in New Directions Lest the situation be completely misrepresented, some time should be spent in the discussion of the writings of those whose critical or analytical approaches to electroacoustic music have begun to make headway toward the goal of this project. Intention/Reception The Intention/Reception Project mentioned in Chapter 1 is one recent attempt to bring the issue of listener perception into the discussion of electroacoustic pieces. 40 Th is is an ongoing project organized in the UK by a group of individuals centered around the composer Leigh Landy. Through controlled scientific experiments, data was gathered regarding the ability of listeners from a variety of differing backgrounds to app reciate or understand a piece of music having been given differing amounts of foreknowledge regarding the piece, including a title and program notes. The goal of for a pi ece of music and the manner in which the piece was received by the listener. The Intention/Reception Project and similar undertakings are crucial in illuminating our understanding of how a piece of electroacoustic music is perceived by people from differen intentions were fully understood by the listeners. However, this is but one measure of a piece among seve ral; after all, a piece of music can be of extreme personal value to an individual regardless of whether they fully understand or even care to understand the have discu textual intention, suggesting that this cannot 40 Landy, Understanding the Art of Sound Organization 38 65.


33 furnish the touchstone of interpretation, and may even be irrelevant or misleading as 41 In other words, the intentions of the composer need not necessarily enter into a discussion of the work as an aesthetic object if we choose instead to focus on the intentions of the work itself. This idea will be explored further in Chapter 3. Listening The elements of electroacoustic pieces that I wi sh to discuss in this dissertation (particularly the perception and interpretation of referential sounds) will be most successfully illuminated through careful listening rather than the usage of sonograms, the study of software code, etc. Katharine Norman has published extensively on the 42 Rather ctroacoustic pieces, Norman is primarily interested in documenting in a personal literary fashion her own perceptions experienced during the process of listening new kind of literature to explain works of art for s ound, one that listens differently to 43 One time thoughts transcribed during her listening expe rience as the entirety of her commentary on the piece, without taking the opportunity for critical reflection after the fact. 41 Interpretation and Overinterpretation e d. Stefan Collini (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 6 10. 42 Katharine Norman, Sounding Art: Eight Literary Excursions through Electronic Music (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2004), xi. 43 in Music, Electronic Media and Culture ed. Simon Emmerson (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000), 217.


34 Southside Silence 44 to the listener that the piece is meant to explore a certain sense of place and a certain notes, continues with her own history with the piece, progresses through a detailed finishes with a paragraph of concluding Southside Si lence is an unpretentious personal memoir that also invites several journeys of remembering from the l t seems it would be somewhat inappropriate though entirely possible, to attempt a spectrographic analysis of such a piece or to take a look a Other writers w orth mentioning with regards to the study of listening to electroacoustic music include Salom Voegelin, Denis Smalley, and Suk Jun Kim. the listening of sound art, m ingling fanciful speculations with personal subjective experience and a healthy dose of Adorno and Heidegger; never staying too long on the discussion of any one particular piece of music. 45 Listening centric writings by 44 Organised Sound 15, no. 2 (2010): 119 120. 45 Salom Voegelin, Listening to Noise and Silence: Towards a Philosophy of Sound Art (New York: Continuum, 2010).


35 Smalley 46 and Kim 47 are primarily con cerned with exploring notions of how we listen to electronic music, proposing detailed theoretical frameworks by which we may catalogue Goals for this Project intention/reception and value judgment might potentially play a role in such discussions, they will not be focused upon in depth for reasons outlined above. Rather, I am proposing a model for the discourse of electroacoustic music that combines two main components both informed by careful listening: analysis and critical interpretation. This In beginning a critical discussion of works of electroacoustic music, it will be imperative to include some discussion of the elements contained within the piece as appropriate the sonic materials, form, motives, extra musical signifiers, software tools, etc. This is the analysis portio n of the proposed critical model. Various analytical tools appropriate to the piece in question will be utilized in order to describe and characterize the elements of said piece. If analysis is defined as an elucidation of what is contained within a piec e, perhaps critical interpretation may be defined as a discussion of what may be contained within a piece, or perhaps why certain elements are included by the composer or perceived by the listener in a particular way. This consideration of the 46 Contemporary Music Review 13:2 (1996): 77 107. 47 Suk Jun phenomena of sound Organised Sound vol. 15, no. 1 (2010): 43 53.


36 personal li stening experience within a critical analysis serves to extend the analysis of electroacoustic music away from a simple description of the materials found within a piece and toward a discussion of features that are clearly important factors in appreciating a large number of electroacoustic compositions. Umberto Eco has already been referenced in Chapter 1 of this dissertation, and his name will re appear several times in subsequent chapters. Equally known as an author of fiction and as a literary theori st, Eco has served as a model for me in my project of developing a discourse whereby the music that I am involved in creating may be meaningfully discussed. Clearly, the existence of creator/critics in the realm of written text has a close parallel with t hat of the composer/theorists inhabiting the musical world; the latter of which is hardly uncommon. As Chapter 3 of this dissertation will elaborate, I am particularly interested in addressing theories of semiotics and interpretation with relation to acou smatic music many of my ideas for the application own work, demonstrating his belief that the a uthor may hold limits over the possible interpretations of his text. This idea will be discussed further in Chapter 6.


37 CHAPTER 3 MUSICAL MEANING AND INTERPRETATION much as they m agnetize it, and we are caught up in their systems of relay Joe Milutis 48 As explained earlier, this project seeks to extend a listener centered approach to the discourse of electroacoustic music by emphasizing the combination of musical a nalysis with the act of critical interpretation as informed by careful listening. The critical interpretation similarity between the referentiality and thus the perception of certain (pr imarily acousmatic) electroacoustic compositions and works of literature. On a superficial level, a fixed media electroacoustic piece is more similar than an instrumental piece to a work of literature simply because it exists in a static form that can be duplicated, repeated, and referred to explicitly without the detriment of changes that accompany performance interpretation. On a deeper level, an electroacoustic piece has the potential ability to provoke discussion on issues such as musical meaning, ref erence, and narrative in an explicit manner much more similar to literature than to instrumental music, due to the possibility of reference laden sonic material. The areas of literary and critical theory have undergone many advances during the past centur y, with musicologists only recently taking advantage of the efforts made by said theorists: electroacoustic studies trailing even further behind. In this chapter, I will discuss pre existing theories of musical meaning, reference, and textual interpretati on, noting along the way a few key efforts that have been made to apply such scholarship to the area of music. This will form the backdrop for the critical analyses in the ensuing chapters. 48 Leonardo Music Journal 18 (2008): 74.


38 Musical Meaning The question of whether music can truly mean anyt hing has been debated for centuries the complex nuances of said debate being complicated by a multitude of compositional strategies and the many ways in which any object or utterance can be said to mean something else. Philosophers and musicologists suc h as Roger Scruton, Lawrence Kramer, Stephen Davies, Leonard Meyer, Peter Kivy, Jerrold Levinson, and many others have written extensively upon this topic, exploring the many different ways that a piece of music might mean (or not mean) something (or nothi ng) to anyone (or no one). In his book The Aesthetics of Music Roger Scruton takes care to separate the issue of musical meaning into the behaviors of representation and expression expressing reservations whether music is truly capable of either behavio r. 49 In Musical Meaning and Expression depict, or symbolize, choosing to focus on the ability of music to awaken emotions in the listener. 50 In reviewing much of the literature regarding the philosophy of music (musical meaning, representation, and expression in particular) it has become apparent that most of these theories are grounded in older methods of musical thought. One would certainly be surprised to find any mention of electroacoustic music within this literature, but what is more disconcerting is the overabundance of musical examples from the tur ning their attention toward any post 1945 repertoire. With regards to Stephen Davies, w hen the object of one s study is Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, and Wagner, 49 Roger Scruton, The Aesthetics of Music (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997). 50 Stephen Davies, Musical Meaning and Expression (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1994).


39 one will undoubtedly find emotion While the existing literature on this subject has proven t o be invaluable as background information, the conclusions of those working primarily with examples of tonal instrumental music cannot be extended without significant qualifiers to the body of work represented in this current project. Reference ( S emiotic s) Semiotics can be understood simply as the theory of how something (the sign) can stand for (or mean ) something else (the signified). Thus, all theories of musical meaning and musical or textual interpretation return to semiotics at their core, even if it is not referenced explicitly. Much of the semiotic scholarship is based upon (or serves in reaction to) early theories by Ferdinand de Saussure and Charles Peirce the theories of the latter will be discussed further in Chapter 4. In the introduction to his book A Theory of Semiotics Umberto Eco wrote that his aim was explore the theoretical possibility and the social function of a unified approach to every phenomenon of signification and/or communication. Such an approach should take the form of a general semiotic theory able to explain every case of sign function i n terms of underlying systems of 51 Many other semiotic theories are similarly grandiose in their scale, seeking to construct elaborate theoretical models concerned with cataloguing how anything may stand f or anything else Raymond Monelle characterizes such efforts by noting that 52 semi otic theories, his efforts in textual interpretation will be more relevant to this project. 51 Umberto Eco, A Theory of Semiotics ( Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1976 ) 3 52 R aymond Monelle Linguistics and Semiotics in Music (Philadelphia: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1992), 5.


40 Several efforts have already been made to apply semiotic theory to the analysis of instrumental music, and occasionally to the analysis of electroacoustic music. M any linguists parse out the written word into meaningful segments, thus concentrating primarily on musical form and intra musical connections comment above. 53 Kofi Agawu 54 and Eero Tarasti 55 have written extremely in depth and well researched books wherein they tackle various elements of semiotic musical analysis, considering both intra and extra musical signification; a thoughtful discussion of those a overview. As mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, one difference between the study of reference in acousmatic music and instrumental music is the possibility for an ac ousmatic piece to include sonic material that is much more explicitly referential to extra musical elements than could ever be possible in an instrumental piece. Whereas Messiaen attempted to represent birdsong in compositions such as Rveil des Oiseaux or Villa Lobos evoked the sound of locomotives in Bachianas Brasileiras No. 2 an acousmatic composer has the ability to compose with recorded representations of actual birds and locomotives. To be fair, many listeners of Messiaen and Villa Lobos are able to accurately draw the intended semiotic connection between the musical signs and the real world objects meant to be signified. However, the level of musical narrative 53 See for example the analyses by Jean Jacques Nattiez and Elisabeth Morin d escribed in the Semiotic Analysis section in Cook, A Guide to Musical Analysis 151 182. 54 See Kofi Agawu Playing with Signs: A Semiotic Interpretation of Classic Music (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991), and Kofi Agawu, Music as Discourse: Sem iotic Adventures in Romantic Music (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009). 55 See Eero Tarasti, A Theory of Musical Semiotics (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994).


41 possible with the limited abilities of acoustic instruments to evoke real wor ld objects or situations simply cannot compare to the greater possibilities present when using recorded sound. Interpretation ( H ermeneutics) Alongside literature that seeks to describe how the sign may stand for the signified exists a body of work concerne d with interpreting the very nature of the sign or the signified the written word. One major issue that divides the hermeneutic literature is the question of whether texts shou whether the reader is to create their own text through (possibly unlimited) interpretation or whether the author or several book s and essays concerned with the interpretation of texts, and although his 56 he has more recently written at length against the notion of unlimited semiosis, thereby placing certain bound aries upon the act of interpretation. In the introduction to The Limits of Interpretation Eco writes interpretations which are blatantly unacceptable. This means that the interpre ted text imposes some constraints upon its interpreters. The limits of interpretation coincide with the rights of the text (which does not mean interpretation must speak of somet hing which must be found somewhere, 57 The distinction that Eco makes here between the interpretative limits imposed by the text itself versus limits imposed by the author bears mention with relation to my 56 See Umberto Eco The Poetics of the Open Work The Role of the Reader 47 66 57 Umberto Eco, The Limits of Interpretation ( Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990 ) 6 7


42 comp ositional intentions for the work or their guidance as offered through program notes. In his well known essay The Death of the Author Roland Barthes made the case for the removal of the Author as a figure whose intentions must be respected during the act 58 Whi le as an imaginative interpreter/reader/listener I relish the opportunity to construct my own interpretations divorced from any respect for the original Author, I also side with Eco in his idea that certain interpretations may in fact be blatantly unaccept able. This idea will re relation to the interpretation of my own work. In my discussions of works by Mark Wingate, James Mobberley, and myself in later chapters, the reader wil l note that I place my critical analyses in reaction to the Harrison and Paul Koonce. Even when citing the program notes for the piece, my views are oftentimes in oppositio sliding scale between respecting the intentions of the work and the intentions of the composer within my analysis while I believe the intentions of the composer are most often helpful in understan ding a piece, my own personal interpretations are oftentimes 58 Roland Barthes, Image Music Text (New York: Hill and Wang, 1977), 142 148.


43 y this dilemma, see Tom The Village Voice of a concert containing two new works by Charles Dodge: Speech Songs and 59 The experience of the latter work offered in this review stems purely from an aural st andpoint; Johnson describes the timbre of the electronic sounds, the pitch content of the piece, and the feeling that that the piece is not simply a result of something the composer wanted to release and within the subsequent literature, was actually a highly determinate work based upon numerical data derived from fluctuations in the 60 Perhaps this information was not advertised during this particular event, or perhaps s if a post concert fact finding conversation with the composer may have illuminated this very simple fact and thus resulted in a very different review. On the other hand too many discussions of concentrate entirely on the tech nical aspects of the work how the scientific data was re purposed into musical information, what sorts of synthesis techniques were utilized, etc. In that respect, it is actually refreshing to read the account of a listener such as Tom Johnson who was e valuating the work based solely upon the musicality of the end product. My personal stance as a critic will be to 59 Johnson, The Voice of New Music 34. 60 Richard Taruskin, The Oxford History of Western Music, Vol. 5: Music in the Late Twentieth Century (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 497.


44 intentions for the work choosing later to acknowledge or disregard such information within my analysis. Applications of T hese I deas to E lectroacoustic M usic The idea that referential materials in acousmatic music may bear some sort of interpretation on the part of the listener is in no way new it simply has no t been widely applied to in depth analytical discussions of particular pieces. In characterizing the philosophy of acousmatic music, Franois Bayle has noted that: notices that they a re out of their usual context. In the acousmatic approach, the listener is expected to reconstruct an explanation for a series of sound events, even if this explanation is provisional. Like reading a detective story, one invents a scenario to find the ch ain of 61 Listening Through the Noise: The Aesthetics of Experimental Electronic Music Signs in Post Schaefferian Electroacous 62 This chapter serves as a concise overview of the scholarship surrounding listening reduced listening which will be discussed further in Chapter 4. Unfortunately, Demers limits her discussion to the topic of listening to signs rather than speculating about the signified Other than a paragraph on Jean Jacques Nattiez, the topic of semiotics is not dis cussed in any depth. The Next Step(s) With this brief overview in mind of what it might mean to interpret a work, what may be interpreted, and how elements of a piece of music might be understood to stand 61 Computer M usic Journal 21, no. 3 (Autumn 1997): 17. 62 Joanna Demers Listening Through The Noise: The Aesthetics of Experimental Electronic Music (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010).


45 in reference to other objects, actions, or ideas, l et us turn our attention toward a practical exploration of these ideas in relation to specific pieces of electroacoustic music. The following three chapters will include in depth critical analyses of several different pieces, with each chapter utilizing a slightly different methodology. The repertoire has been intentionally chosen in order to demonstrate how the discourse of different pieces of fixed media electroacoustic music may need to be individualized in listening experience. More specifically, these three chapters serve to illuminate elements in the selected compositions that this author has found to be moving, enlightening, provoking, oppressive, or ambivalent Chapter 4 will further discuss the issue of semiotic reference, and will apply a Peircian model of semiotics in order to illuminate how certain elements in two selected compositions by Mark Wingate and Jonty Harrison traverse different modes of referenti suggesting that the perception and organization of referential elements in acousmatic compositions may be illuminated through a specific and semi rigorous theoretical framework if so VOX METALLICA noting that an intertextual (and slightly antagonistic) reading of this piece might be fruitful. In Chapter 6, the author will turn his attention t oward two of his own compositions, alternately being able to provide background information regarding the creation of the piece and adopting the imaginary persona of an individual who might be hearing the piece without such knowledge. This will demonstrat


46 original intentions for a work oftentimes are in no way illuminating of a fruitful listening experience.


47 CHAPTER 4 SEMIOTIC REFERENCES IN TWO WORKS BY MARK WINGATE AND JONTY H ARRISON In this chapter, I explore possible intersections between semiotic theory and the perception and analysis of contemporary electroacoustic music. Although several attempts have been made to construct theories of musical semiotics, the literature d eals almost exclusively with instrumental music largely that of the western tonal canon. Particularly within the acousmatic sub genre of electroacoustic music, the notions of sign, meaning, and referentiality fulfill unique functions and create differen t cognitive connections than their counterparts in the instrumental realm. After outlining certain core concepts in the acousmatic and semiotic fields, I will demonstrate their possible intersections through the analysis of two electroacoustic works. A B rief Synopsis of The Acousmatic The two works selected for study in this chapter both fit squarely into the acousmatic tradition as defined in Chapter 1 both are works for a fixed medium composed using recordings of acoustic sound sources. While some ac ousmatic works rely on the montage technique of assembling unprocessed recordings into a cohesive piece, many composers utilize signal processing techniques to extend the timbral characteristics of these acoustic recordings. The perceptual result of these timbral manipulations is oftentimes that of listening to slightly extended or warped versions of real world objects, and at other times any sense of referentiality is obscured through extreme manipulations that render the original sound source unrecogniza ble. The acousmatic tradition has its roots in the early musique concrte work of onto magnetic tape using exclusively recordings of real world acoustic phenomena.


48 These short accumulations of timbre, pitch, and rhythm, devoid of any referentiality to the real world phenomena that would result in such a sound. In listening to such works, Schaeffer advocated a perceptual strategy known as reduced listening 63 olely on the timbral original mode of production. Let us use for example the recording of a crying baby used by Paul Koonce in the piece Hothouse (1992) ( Excerpt 2:30 4:05 ) Although the timbral manipulations used to integrate this recording into the surrounding musical rather than its reference to a real world child, it is extremel y difficult even for the experienced acousmatic listener to listen to this moment of the work and not perceive reduced listening model would have us believe that we can perceive this musical moment b ased exclusively on the acoustic characteristics of the sound, and to be fair, this is precisely how Koonce has engineered this section of the piece. On a strictly musical level, the sound object is treated as another piece in a large puzzle of sonorities related solely on their acoustic characteristics. When analyzing the form of the piece, the referential value of this sound object to a live infant never factors into any sort of narrative. However, the unavoidable reality that the listener will registe r at least on the subconscious level the 63 Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music ed. Christoph Cox and Daniel Warner (New York: The Continuum International Publishing Group, 2006), 77.


49 fact serve as cognitive reference points even if treated in a purely sonic manner in the surrounding musical context. Semiotic s This idea that sound objects in an acousmatic piece can intentionally or unintentionally serve in a referential capacity turns our discussion towards semiotics the study of signs, references, and meaning. If the appearance of a particular sound object brings to mind a specific object or concept, it is apparent that the sound object is functioning as a sign with some amount of intrinsic meaning. Charles Peirce defines the concept of sign 64 With this broad applicability for the concept of the sign and the signified, it seems clear that our semiotic discussion of acousmatic music can potentially be drawn further from the realm of simple one to one correlation between a recording and a physical object into other concerns both intra and extra musical. Simon Atkinson has already made a compelling case for the adoption of a Peircian semiotic model for acousmatic analysis, albeit stopping short of proposing the specifics of such a system or demonstrating these ideas through analysis. 65 Atkinson argues that an invaluable project would be to develop a taxonomy (and thus theoretical function as a sign in semiotic terms. 64 Ethnomusicology Vol. 43, No. 2 (Spring Summer 1999): 222. 65 Organised Sound Vol. 12, No. 2 (2007): 113 122.


50 between the intra and extra 66 existing tripartite framework of Peircian semiotics will serve as at least an initial starting point for the application of semiotic approaches to acousmatic analysis. However, considering the almost fundamental nature of acousmatic music to include both intra and extra musical referentiality, I feel as if any analytic system devoid of t his parameter perception of a piece. Peircian semiotics divides the act of meaning into three parts the sign (that which means), the object (what the sign means), and the interpretant (the effect created by bringing together the sign and the object in the mind of the perceiver.) All three of these components can be understood according to phenomenological categories that Peirce called First (possibility, abstraction), Seco nd, (actuality, referentiality, action), and Third (mediation, organization, rules) The nine intersections between sign, object, and interpretant, and First, Second, and Third have all been given specific names and descriptions, as seen in Figure 4 1, co urtesy of S. Alexander Reed. As previously mentioned, the understanding of semiotic signs in acousmatic music requires that particular attention be paid to the scale of intramusical versus extramusical semiosis. A sound object that serves solely as an in tramusical sign would act only as a reference to other moments within the piece of music a repeated phrase, an anticipated rhythmic pattern, etc. The purely extramusical sign would only reference concepts or objects outside of the musical framework i. e. an airplane or the concept of joy. As referenced in Chapter 2 of this document, Simon Emmerson has described a categorical framework for the analysis of electroacoustic works that includes the idea of 66


51 a piece utilizing either a mimetic or an aural musi cal discourse. Those pieces that feature an aural discourse obtain their structure through the interaction of elements in a purely sonic (or traditionally musical) fashion with little to no reference to the extramusical. The mimetic discourse refers to w orks whose elements interact based upon mimesis, or their imitation of extramusical elements. As Emmerson acknowledges, many pieces obtain their discursive language through a combination of these two approaches. Similarly, many sound objects within an acousmatic work function somewhere on the continuum between purely intramusical and purely extramusical referentiality. In understanding and categorizing the types of semiotic signs utilized in an acousmatic piece, it is important to consider the specific ity of a particular recorded sound in light of its usage in the surrounding musical context. For example, Paul vocalization at a specific moment in time. If the piece was ent itled A Portrait of my Child on December 2, 1992 and the recording was surrounded with other infant appropriate signify a very specific real world object. In this ca se, the recorded sound would function in Peircian terms as a dicent indexical sinsign It is a dicent because the behavior of the object (the live infant) has a direct relation to the very nature of the sign (the recorded sound). It is indexical because of the co creation of the sign, and a sinsign due to the fact that we are dealing with a specific reference to a specific infant.


52 element within an aural discourse rather than a mimetic one, with a large degree of intramusical referentiality. The section immediately preceding this musical moment features piano, clarinet, and rooster samples, among other elements. Through a series of timbral mani pulations, the clarinet and rooster samples converge upon a common unaltered form alongside various environmental and industrial sounds for a moment, the baby sound q uickly begins its own timbral modulation and effectively disappears into the distance. During our brief encounter with this sound object, the concept of a human infant is never reinforced in any meaningful way via the surrounding musical materials, much l ess with any reference to a specific baby at a specific moment in time. The notwithstanding, it seems clear from the musical context that this sound was meant to function in a disc ourse with other musical elements in a primarily aural rather than mimetic fashion. As such, a more accurate Peircian semiotic assessment would be that of a rhemetic iconic legisign It is rhemetic because the sound object references the possibility of a baby without maintaining a connection to any particular realization of this without coinciding with any such occurrence, and a legisign because the sound object is most similar to that of a general type rather than any specific occurrence or abstract quality. Even more importantly, the meaning of this sound object can be analyzed as almost completely intramusical in its reference only to the surrounding sound object s through an aural discourse.


53 This sliding scale between using sounds to signify specific concepts or objects versus their use as sound objects in the purest sense tends to be a common compositional technique among acousmatic practitioners, and may prove t o be a useful metric by which such pieces may be analyzed. I will now turn to brief analyses of two electroacoustic works that utilize various positions along this metric. Analyses Mark Wingate Pufferfish (1996) Pufferfish serves as an excellent startin g point in our application of semiotic analysis to acousmatic music, due to its very clear referentiality and transformation of Pufferfish can change their appearance by expanding or contracting their bodies at will by swallowing air or water. Known and respected for its dangerous toxicity, the pufferfish must be expertly prepared by a master sushi chef or the result can be a highly unpleasant or even fatal meal. On the other hand, if prepared properly it rewards the anxious diner with a delicious culinary experience accompanied by an over all feeling of well being or euphoria. 67 Considering the traditional practice of utilizing program notes to describe elements of the composition at h discussion is the variety of fish about which this piece is apparently concerned. world recordings, slightly processed versions of thes e recordings, instrumental timbres, and a few sections, with brief descriptions of the materials present within, presented in chronological fashion. 67 Mark Wingate, L iner notes, Pufferfish Compact Disc. empreintes DIGITALes, 1996


54 Introduction (0 :00 0:15) Water samples, both processed and unprocessed A section (0:15 1:27) Unprocessed sounds: Door Footsteps (panned right to left) Faucet, water, scrubbing, drain Faucet, water, scrubbing Flute Faucet, water Water sound continues on a gradual crescendo Flute and faucet sounds repeat, gradually becoming more processed B section (1:27 2:48) Water sounds More flute sounds Abstract scratchy sounds Return of the water samples from the introduction Vocal samples enter, cuing a gradual ri se in pitch and increase in amplitude and density Water samples become more rhythmic Coda (2:48 3:04) Unprocessed sounds: Door Dripping faucet Footsteps (panned left to right) nd objects, it seems clear that this piece contains some narrative elements surrounding the dangerous pufferfish. The brief introduction serves as a way to introduce to the listener the predominant form of musical discourse utilized within later sections of the piece recognizable sounds presented both in their pure form and in a digitally extended form. In this section, the unprocessed sounds are certainly recognizable as a semiotic sign for nsign (an actual occurrence of specific water). The differentiation between these two becomes more clear as the piece


55 progresses. As Wingate processes the water sounds, they become more abstract leading the nature of the sign more towards the qualisign territory. In other words, the manipulation of the water samples changes their nature as signs from more specific to more abstract. The A section of the piece utilizes unprocessed real world sounds in such a way that a narrative interpretation is clearly intended. While it would be possible to analyze this section on a purely aural level as a sequence of non referential sound objects, their particular assembly leads more towards a mimetic discourse. The first gesture involves a door opening and closing, a series of footsteps leading from right to left, the sound of a faucet being turned on, water, scrubbing, and the sound of water going down a drain. The faucet, water, scrubbing, and drain sequence is repeated again. The narrative quality of these gest ures leads the listener to imagine a particular individual going through a series of actions possibly a master sushi chef entering a kitchen and beginning the preparation of a pufferfish. As with the more specific interpretation of an appropriate Peircean identification of these sound objects would be that of dicent indexical sinsign. In all categories, this assessment bears the quality of secondness signs acting as references to objects in a very specific fashion. As the A sect ion continues, a flute gesture is introduced. The flute phrase initially serves as an intramusical sign, signifying the fact that Wingate is pulling the listener away from a purely narrative realm into a more abstract one. While the water sound is loope d in its pure form, the faucet sound begins to gradually change shape. First presented in clear on off gestures, the faucet sounds become more fragmented and layered in ways that a real world faucet could not possibly emulate. To return to


56 Emmerson, thei r discursive usage moves from the mimetic into the aural. In Peircean terminology, the nature of the sign changes from the specificity of a sinsign into the abstraction of a qualisign specific f changes from the specificity of an index into the resemblance of an icon. In both cases, the movement along the Peircean grid is from secondness into firstness from actuality i nto abstraction. As the A section continues with further modifications of the faucet sound, the flute sound is also fragmented and altered in a similar fashion. The entrance into the B section is marked by a large burst, and if the narrative qualities hol d in the perception of the listener, a transportation into a different space. While water sounds are still present, they are no longer that of a kitchen sink but those of a larger body of water a tank or perhaps the ocean. The particular flute gesture utilized in this section of the piece serves as a legisign in its reference to certain traditional Japanese musical styles. As the B section continues, the sound world becomes increasingly abstract and removed from that of real world object referentiality The musical elements gradually shift their mode of signification from the extramusical into the intramusical. While initially presented as unprocessed sound objects, the water sounds are modified towards the end of the B section in a manner very simila r to that of the introductory section. Concurrent with this gradual build in water intensity is the appearance and buildup of voice samples and a pulsating sound possibly derived from a water sample. This trajectory towards increasing amplitude and a h igher pitch level serves as qualisign an abstract reference to an iconic object. The specific nature


57 of this iconic object is not made clear in the piece, and may be interpreted by the listener in a number of ways as an increase in emotional intensity. Upon reaching the coda, Wingate resumes the exclusive use of unprocessed real world sounds a door, dripping, and footsteps. This serves as an intramusical reference to the beginning of the A section where the same sounds were utilized. It also has the the B section to the secondness of the A section. The reappearance of these sound objects resumes the narrative that was begun in the A section. As such, the sounds each be ar specific intramusical referentiality to their earlier counterparts. With the exception of the brief introduction and coda, Pufferfish follows a general trajectory from Peircean secondness towards firstness. Sounds are initially presented in a highly re ferential fashion, signifying specific objects in a specific narrative. Through the course of the piece, these sounds are manipulated and augmented by non referential sounds, leading the listener into a more abstract sound world. The introduction clearly acts as a precursor to the abstractness of the B section, and the coda acts as an echo of the narrative qualities of the A section. The clear bookending accomplished by the recurrence of certain sounds in the coda leads towards a curious reassessment of t he narrative qualities of the piece actuality to ence to the A section begets a retroactive reassessment of the overarching narrative of the piece. It seems fairly safe to assume that the A section involves the sonic representation of an individual entering


58 a room, turning on a faucet, and scrubbing som ething (possibly a pufferfish) in a sink. The coda features the sound of this individual apparently leaving the room, as signified by the reversal of the spatial trajectory of the footsteps. It is difficult to analyze the elements of the B section in a s imilarly concrete fashion, as the signs and their corresponding objects are much more abstract. If one is to assume that the narrative deals with the preparation of a pufferfish by a master sushi chef, perhaps the tank/ocean and Japanese flute sounds are natural habitat. As the sounds in the B section become more abstract and increase in intensity, perhaps they are meant as signifiers for the death of the pufferfish at the hands of the chef. Similarly possible wou ld be their interpretation as signifiers for the unfortunate death of an unwitting diner at the hands of an unskilled chef. Given also seem possible that this build serves as an abstract representation of a satisfied dine successful intake of a well prepared meal. Jonty Harrison Unsound Objects (1995) unprocessed recordings and abstract electronic sounds. However, the middle ground between these two extremes is more pronounced than in Pufferfish and it is difficult (and likely u nnecessary) to construct any overarching narrative to the piece. The electronically processed elements of the piece seem to be extremely abstracted versions of the unprocessed sound objects, as they frequently feature corresponding moments in rhythmic or frequency content. A common processing technique utilized in this piece is that of adding resonance or extended harmonic content to sounds that originally began as more noise based.


59 The fluid form of the piece does not lend itself easily towards broad div isions into component sections. Rather, Harrison moves smoothly from one sonic world into another, using the more abstract sound elements to bridge the timbral gaps between disparate real follows: 0:00 Water sounds with processed counterparts Short and long gestures 1:30 Water sounds become more metallic 2:00 Flowing water sounds, corresponding long electronic sounds 3:00 Crunching and crackling sounds with electronic counterparts Fo otsteps Long electronic sounds from previous section continue 4:00 Bubbling water sounds return Long electronic sounds lead into sounds of a rainstorm with thunder 5:30 Crackling sounds similar to the footsteps Extended usage of the sound of unlocking an d opening a door Long electronic sounds continue 7:00 Unprocessed sounds similar to fire or static, accompanied by corresponding electronic sounds Bouncing marbles 8:30 Return of the electronic resonator sounds More marbles 9:40 Keys, opening a door, returning to the rainstorm Similar electronic sounds remain


60 10:30 Footsteps return Indeterminate sound gestures perhaps the sound of passing cars Indeterminacy leads into the sound of waves 12:00 Wave sounds are soon accompanied by the sound of sea gul ls and people on the beach 12:45 Quick resonated electronic gesture concludes the piece If any sense of narrative structure is intended in Unsound Objects it is certainly more obscured than the narrative found in Pufferfish Considering the selection o f sounds that probably had a human agent behind their origin (footsteps, opening door), a broad reference could be imagined to an individual traveling from some watery place (perhaps a river), into a rainstorm, into a house, back out into the rainstorm, and finally to the beach. If this narrativ e serves as an overarching framework for the piece, it is obscured by the moment to moment excursions into electronic abstraction, compounded by the presence of unprocessed sound objects that have no apparent ndency to seek out a narrative structure from these sound objects notwithstanding, it seems as if Harrison is more concerned with the momentary dialogue between concrete and abstract sound worlds. During several moments of the piece, a sound will be presen ted both in its pure unprocessed form and as an electronically extended abstract sound. In most cases, the processed sound is so far removed from the original real world recording that it is difficult to determine with any degree of accuracy where it may have originated. It is only through their simultaneous or immediately successive presentation that such correspondences become clear. An example of this technique takes place between


61 8:00 and 9:00 with the marble sounds. When presented in their unaltere d form, the marble sounds can be perceived as extramusical signs, possibly behaving as rhematic indexical sinsigns This degree of specificity is caused by the clear recording quality and usage of reverberation that reinforces the perception of a particul ar marble bouncing in a particular acoustic space. Whether the reverberation was present in the original recording or added later during the compositional process, the perception is that of the marble bouncing in a medium sized space with hard surfaces, perhaps the structure that the imaginary protagonist entered in order to escape the rainstorm. Between 8:30 and 8:40, a resonated electronic sound is present that mimics the rhythmic characteristics of the bouncing marble. Were this sound to be utilized in another section of the piece, its connection to the marble might be obscured or completely missed. However, its close proximity to the unprocessed marble sound leads towards its perceptual interpretation as an intramusical sign. The removal of the par world marble, and instead only references other similar sonic elements within the piece the adjacent unprocessed marble sounds. The entire semiotic relationship of this pro cessed marble to its unprocessed counterparts could be interpreted as a rhematic iconic qualisign Through this process of electronic abstraction, Harrison has intramusical, and from Peircean secondness into firstness. Although the typical transformational scheme in this piece (as with many others in the genre) is to move from specificity into abstraction secondness into firstness there are a few moments within Unsound Ob jects where Harrison utilizes the inverse


62 behavior firstness into secondness. One example of this phenomenon takes place with the door/latch sounds between 5:25 and 6:55. The initial appearance of this sound seems to imply the opening of a specific doo r in some narrative sense, but its fragmentation and repetition soon leads its nature as a sign from secondness (or even thirdness) towards firstness. When initially presented, this door sound is treated purely as an abstract sound object, devoid of refer final un by a silencing of other sonic textures) that we begin to perceive these sonic elements as bearing meaning towards an extr amusical object. A similar transformation takes place towards the end of the piece with the thunder and ocean sounds. The listener is presented with a series of rain and thunder sounds leading up to around 11:00. At 11:15, Harrison re introduces the thun der sound in a slightly processed form. Rather than conveying specificity towards an element in a particular rainstorm, the thunder sound is filtered and panned from one speaker to the relationship is moving from secondness into firstness from a specific reference to thunder to a general sense of a thunder like sound. This panned thunder sound continues for a while until it is gradually cross faded into the sound of oc ean waves. Although the thunder and the ocean sounds are very distinct timbrally, Harrison has exploited both their similarity in rhythmic gesturality and broadband noise content to effectively transform thunder into ocean waves through an abstracted midd le ground. This can be characterized as a movement from one specific referentiality into another, mediated by an excursion into abstraction secondness into firstness into secondness.


63 Concluding T houghts on T his T opic In these brief analyses of pieces by Wingate and Harrison, I have demonstrated how Peircean semiotic terminology can be used to illustrate the various modes of referentiality present within the works. The specific dimension of actuality to abstraction utilized by both composers can be ef fectively discussed in terms of Peircean secondness to firstness. Although a specific theory of semiotic functionalities within electroacoustic music has yet to be developed, it is my hope that this foray into speculative applications of broad Peircean co ncepts to acousmatic referentiality will serve as an initial step towards the eventual development of a more codified theory. It is clear that this sort of analysis can be an insightful method into gaining further understanding of the specific meanings an d thus the perception of various elements within an acousmatic musical structure. Further developments may include the distillation of the 9 point Peircean framework into one more suited towards acousmatic referentiality, in addition to the inclusion of t he intra vs. extra musical and aural vs. mimetic discursive dimensions.


64 Figure 4 1 A b asic f ramework of Peircean s emiotics


65 CHAPTER 5 INTERTEXTUALITY AND CREATIVE MISREADINGS: METALLICA VOX METALLICA read as follows: VOX METALLICA, for fixed 2 channel digital media, uses a collection of recordings of non singing sounds from several different sources, plus recordings of guitars, bass guitar, drum set, and organ as sound sources. Context being a critical part of our memory and pattern recognition processes, Vox Metallica plays with familiar and non familiar acoustic and popular 68 69 Although many literary theorists would suggest that the intentions of the author/composer (or at least the guidance of the composer as suggested via program note s) need not factor into one do provide an appropriate backdrop upon which we can undertake an initial, relatively straightforward discussion of the piece. After doing so, I will proceed with a sligh tly more oppositional reading of the piece, demonstrating that things may not be as clear cut as Mobberley has implied. The ensuing two part discussion will mirror my own experience as a listener of Vox Metallica I was first introduced to this piece at the 2006 Society for Electro Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) National Conference at the University of Oregon. Prior to hearing the piece in concert, Jon Appleton (my professor at Dartmouth at the time) introduced me to James Mobberley. Durin g our brief discussion, Mobberley characterized Vox Metallica 68 Music from SEAMUS vol 16 (Compact Disc, 2007). 69 As Mobberley has been inconsistent with the capitalization of the his own program notes, I will henceforth use the less abrasive form of Vox Metallica


66 concert later that day, I recall hearing the piece precisely as I felt Mobberley intended it to be heard, and enjoying it immensely. However, in listening to the piece several more times privately, in concert, and in the classroom as an example for my students over the past seven years, my interpretation of certai n elements of the piece have undergone a change. Background In his program notes, Mobberley has primed ears with the expectation that the sounds utilized in this piece belong to (or are reminiscent of) two an expectation that is confirmed easily within the first ninety seconds of the piece. He has also suggested that context may play a role in the understanding of individual sound objects, perhaps with the idea t hat a stereotypical sound belonging to one recognizable musical style may take on other meanings when removed from the original context. must be acknowledged that most explanation prior to our discussion of the piece. To those individ uals knowledgeable of late twentieth century American music, the terms uptown and downtown most often refer to the aesthetic differences found in characterizing the uptown /downtown dichotomy as viewed in 1979, Kyle Gann wrote:


67 complicated music in European genres, heavily dominated at that time by tone thinking and its derivatives. Down town music was simpler and less pretentious, drawing on the nature and accident accepting philosophy of John Cage. Conceptualism and minimalism were, then, the two primary Downtown movements; artrock 70 In usin g the terms uptown and downtown to characterize the interplay between upon listening as rock influenced) w ith the downtown music scene: most likely artrock and free improvisation. This author has difficulty with this particular parallel, as will be demonstrated later in this aesthetic dista nce between these two musical worlds is intriguing, suggesting that his desire is to close the conceptual gap through the juxtaposition of style. toward an intertextual exploration of the piece. Intertextuality can be understood as the manner in which a reader (or listener) brings their knowledge of other texts into their interpretation of any single text, acknowledging that any text is defined through its relation to other texts. More than simply noting explicit references across texts, an intertextual criticism recognizes that the totality of one s understanding of any one text is necessarily filtered through one echoes and re 71 Music theorist Michael Klein has published an insightful book entitled Intertextuality in Western Art Music where in the first chapter he attempts to draw intertextual connections between works by Bach, Chopin, and 70 Kyle Gann, Music Downtown: Writings from the Village Voice (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2006), xii. 71 David Beard and Kenneth Gloag, Musicology: The Key Concepts (New York: Routledge, 2005), 95.


68 i Rather than tracing chronological influence and difference in some Bloomian fashion, Klein illustrates his own intertextual experience with these pieces of music, noting how elements of one piece illuminate his interpretation of another in a completely ahistorical fashion. 72 Richard Rorty hinted at the pervasiveness of intertextual interpretation when he obsessions, bits of information, or what have you, and th en seeing what happens. What so exciting and convincing th at one has the illusion that one now sees what a certain text is really about. But what excites and convinces is a 73 I suggest that the intertextual references to other musi cal styles and aesthetic movements in Vox Metallica both in the music and in the program notes, prove to be problematic when subjected to different possibilities of intertextual criticism. Thus the two approaches will proceed as follows: I will first per form a critical (and somewhat dry) analysis of the piece as I believe Mobberley most likely intended and how I originally heard the piece and will then continue with a more oppositional and perhaps fanciful analysis of the piece taking into account the intertextual connections that I bring to the listening experience. Throughout this discussion both the reader and this author should 72 Michael Klein, Intertextuality in Western Art Music (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 2005). 73 ible difference between using a text and interpreting a text, pointing out that he prefers to view both actions as different people using texts for different purposes. Indeed, my own public interpretive or analytical acts may be viewed simply as the use o f a composition for my own purposes. This interesting possibility should always be considered, but Interpretation and Overinterpretation ed. Stefan Collini ( Cambridge: Cambrid ge University Press, 1992), 105 106


69 keep intertextual connection is in any way illuminating of what a work is really about, true possible. I cannot pr any other Katharine Norman s listening journals a public record of my own experience with the piece without the positivistic goals of analysis. Initial Discussion Vox Metallica not only also finds its form by contrasting and combining these sounds and their accompanying characteristic stylistic gestures. 74 ed in the program notes are in fact non singing vocal sounds, including pops, clicks, groans, screams, and unintelligible speech like vocalizations. These vocal sounds comprise the entirety of the EA sounds found in the piece. The guitars, bass guitar, d rum set, and organ sound sources make up the set of Rock sounds, and they seem to have all been performed techniques. The compositional treatment of sounds from these two sets is initially consistent with either EA or Rock style. At the beginning of the piece, EA sounds are introduced with a rhythmically sparse dispersal and an absence of clear pulse. Digital sound 74 To aid in the following discussion, subsequent references to characteristic sounds or sound treatments from reatments will be referred to as Rock.


70 manipulation is evident through the presence of artif icial reverberation, pitch shifting, and time stretching. Between 0:49 and 0:56, a very characteristic EA gesture is presented as a series of short sounds begins with a burst, slows down, and then reverses trajectory to speed back up a phrase rhythmical ly reminiscent of early tape manipulation, albeit without pitch change. Rock sounds are also treated in a stylistically scraped descending distorted electric guitar ge sture. Additional Rock material includes distorted electric guitar power chords, pyrotechnic guitar solo material, and the section beginning at 4:42 with a very strong constant pulse and drum sounds. Throughout the course of the piece, the EA and Rock s ounds are not limited to compositional treatments belonging to the stylistic world from which they originated. EA sounds are oftentimes treated in a Rock fashion, and vice versa. Table 5 1 details the usage of both varieties of sound source and both vari eties of musical style. An X in material, with a small x being used to indicate that a sound may be present but is not the focus. When a section contains only treatment f rom one of these styles, this will be indicated with a large X in the appropriate column. The presence of an X in both style columns indicates a stylistic mixture, with the larger X denoting the most prevalent style. The piece has no clear repetitio ns of material and thus eludes motivic analysis or style, and their various permutations are the building blocks of this piece. In reviewing Table 5 1 a very basic form is apparent within the two style columns : until the end of the piece, Mobberley simply alternates between sections with an overall EA style or an


71 overall Rock style. While the sounds present within these sections do not follow any sort of pattern, the alternation of style proves to be a very eff ective way to convey a sense of progress throughout the piece. Overall, the trajectory of the piece sees both getting treated more radically, leading up to the final mi nutes of the piece where all sounds and styles combine together Rock style winning out at the end. After this brief and dry discussion of the elements within the piece viewed as additional observations based upon my intertextual experience with the piece. Further Interpretation Although I initially experienced Vox Metallica as an honest and well executed combination of electroacoustic and rock music, I have since come to question these assumptions. What makes the piece interesting is certainly this combination of sounds and styles intersecting in unique ways, but it seems now that neither the EA nor the Rock material could sufficiently stand on its own. The opening EA section se ems extremely clichd in its austere presentation of tiny pitch shifted and reverberated sounds it almost feels like Dripsody, Part II 75 recorded and cheap sounding. This is not real electroacoustic or real rock music this is a combination of tired gestures executed poorly. Vox Metallica is a parody or a caricature. It is a series of simulacra. becomes quite clear in the ope ning two minutes of the piece. Vox symbolizes the EA Metallica symbolizes the Rock sounds. Individuals 75 A Dripsody


72 meant to reference the Amer ican heavy metal band Metallica. 76 Any listener style. The distorted electric guit ar material in Vox Metallica sounds as if it was recorded through a cheap amp simulator, the drum sounds seem to be straight out of a $150 drum machine, and one would be hard pressed to locate an organ within the instrumentation of any Metallica album. Ra ther, the Rock sounds and materials seem to be more often reminiscent of 1970s hard rock bands. The section beginning at 4:42 is perhaps most representative of the 1970s influence, from the slide guitar riff at the opening to the Hammond B3 esque stabs an d glissandi culminating around 5:30. A nod to Pink Floyd takes place in the area between 7:00 and 7:45, as the repeating synthesizer arpeggio recalls the extremely similar gesture found in On The Run from the Dark Side of the Moon Howe ver, even these 1970s style gestures are lacking the timbral specificity of their forebears. Whereas the EMS synthesizer used n is flat and static. The Hammond B3 like material sounds as if it was performed by calling up a preset organ patch on a digital keyboard and recorded through a DI box no tube amplifier distortion or whirling Lesli e speaker in evidence. Keith E merson w ould be embarrassed. Vox Metallica serve to stand as signs for real rock music but fail to achieve realness they are thus simulacra representations or 76 Considering Metallica known copyright infringement lawsuit against the file sharing service Napster in 2000, it would be interesting to disc over whether the title of this composition ever crossed the desk of their lawyers.


73 the original. They are falsely constructed realities designed to resemble their source so closely that we buy into the illusion of their realness describe the inability to discern the copy from the original, and although the accompanying rhetoric delves unnecessarily into the very nature of living in the world piece: Disneyland. Jean Baudrillard and Umberto Eco have both written about the various representations of the real world present in the constructed Worlds of Disneyland; Frontierland, Tomorrowland, Main Street USA, Adventureland, etc. Writing of the Main Street USA section of the park, Eco notes how this 77 In discussing how the robotic animals on the Jungle Cruise ride perform for spectators on cue, Eco compa res this to the experience of taking a real river cruise, wheel steamer says it is possible to see feeling homesick for Disneyland, where the wild coaxed. Disneyland tells us that technology can give us more reality than 78 of Disneyland serve to obscure the fact that even the real world represented in the simulacrum is itself fake. 79 Leaving the more extreme viewpoints behind, the 77 Umberto Eco Travels in Hyperreality ( New York : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1986 ), 43 78 Eco, Travels in Hyperreality 44. 79 Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation trans. Sheila Faria Glaser (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1994), 12 13.


74 constructed realities of Disneyland form an interesting parallel to the simulated Rock material in Vox Metallica As Eco wrote, the Main Street represent ed in Disneyland is American Main Street ever looked exactly the way we see when we enter the gates of Disneyland; polished windows, clean gutters, smiling faces, barbershop qu artets, Mom, and apple pie. This is an ideal reality engineered to evoke as many of our own recollections of similar realities as possible, in order that we may buy into the fantasy. electroacoustic music, and the downtown reference to signify rock music. However, this is not in keeping with the usage of the terms as demonstrated in the Kyle Gan n quote of New Music happening in downtown NYC venues artrock, free improvisation, al styles is reminiscent of one well known participant in the Downtown scene: John Zorn. al 80 One would be hard pressed to uncover a category that Zorn does not draw upon in his music. as material) is the danger of o nly representing certain elements of a style and its accompanying culture while discarding the rest. A major criticism of Third Stream 80 John Brackett "Zorn, John, Grove Music Online Oxford Music Online Oxford University Press ove/music/A2225901 ( accessed February 5, 2013 ).


75 compositions in the 1950s and 60s was that in combining classical with jazz one is left with some mutant child halfway in between that does not truly respect the heritage of either parent. The elements that certain Downtown composers draw from either EA or Rock music may in fact be judged the same as the elements chosen to represent the frontier, the jungle, the future, o r Main Street at Disneyland. The waitress dressed up in saloon at Disneyland is no more of a true representation of the real American frontier than the presence of distorte d power chords on an electric guitar is a true representation of real rock music. Both are simulacra. Following this interpretation of Vox Metallica to its conclusion, Mobberley has polystylistic New Music. While on the surface the composition may appear to simply combine EA/Rock sounds with EA/Rock treatments in multiple permutations, upon closer reflection it is neither EA nor Rock it was never meant to be. When EA and Rock elem ents collide within the piece, the effect is that of costumed performers from different simulated worlds crossing paths the aforementioned frontier waitress sitting down on her lunch break with an astronaut. All of the above are simply false representat ions meant to appropriate style without substance. Concluding Thoughts The two different views of Vox Metallica detailed in this chapter illustrate the interpretive possibilities available when considering only the materials internal to a piece and its p rogram notes versus considering potential interpretations informed by hidden agenda on the composers part, or perhaps I am guilty of (as Richard Rorty might


76 claim) using this text for my own purposes. Or perhaps Mobberley simply wanted to


77 Table 5 1 EA and rock sound/style analysis of Vox Metallica Time EA sounds Rock sounds EA style Rock style 0:00 X X 1:13 X X X 1:18 X X 1:39 X X X 2:02 X x X 2:11 X X 2:24 X X X 4:42 x X X 5:29 x X X x 6:14 X x X 6:56 X X X X 7:47 X X X A single X in a sound or style column indicates the presence of a single style or sound. The presence of an X in both sound or style columns indicates a mixture, with the larger X indicating the predominant feature.


78 CHAPTER 6 THE COMPOSER AS SELF CRITIC: TWO WORKS BY TRAVIS GARRISON to validate the interpretations of his text, but to show the discrepancies between the Umberto Eco, Between Author and Text 81 In this chapter, I turn my attention toward two of my own works: Crosstalk (2010) and selectric.metal (2011). The goal in pursuing this topic is not to simply describe my own compositional procedures or my intentions for the work and then proceed to outline how others may discover this information through listening or analysis, but rather to illuminate through a very personal experience how such discussions may be extremely clear to the casual listener, composers quite frequently discover Th e Work during the oftentimes simply the final iteration of an exploratory process undertaken with essed myself undertaking during the composition of several recent pieces is quite reflective of this sort of exploration. Thus, I cannot afford my pre compositional intentions any more weight towards establishing a correct interpretation of a composition than I can the moment to moment or reflective interpretations of the listener. Most of all, my own post compositional listening and marketing of each piece is colored not only by the compositional process and my original intentions, but also the need to c onstruct program notes and informal comments offered to potential listeners: the latter being filtered through my desire to project a particular interpretation of the piece rather than 81 Umberto Eco, Between Author and Text Interpretation and Overinterpretation ed. Stefan Collini (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 73


79 letting the material speak for itself. With these seemingly antithetic al viewpoints in mind, the ensuing discussion has the potential to become complete nonsense that cannot be considered useful toward any purpose. Thus, I will clarify that my goal in pursuing both my own pre and post compositional listenings of these piec es alongside validity of personal interpretive analyses in light of the composer s demonstrated lack of concrete authority. Umberto Eco can serve as a model (once again) f or my work in this chapter, for as a writer he not only straddles the worlds of literary theory and fiction but also is willing to apply his theories of textual interpretation to his own works of fiction. In his third lecture/essay in the book Interpretat ion and Overinterpretation Eco addresses several of the varied interpretations levied at his novels by both amateur and professional critics. One critical analysis of interest found significance in the letters with which the names of a computer and of ce rtain characters begin: A, B, C, and D. Eco responded to this connection by first noting that during the writing process the computer named Abulafia was given another name; the alphabetical sequence was only completed late within the writing process when he changed its name. However, Eco does not deny that this sequence is present within the published version of the text and that a reader may find significance within. It is not within the purview of the author to refute possible interpretations based upo n his own pre textual intentions the intentions of the text must be respected. 82 82 Granted, it is one thing to point out the ABCD alphabetical sequence and quite another to attach certain modes of significance to it. Potentially unfounded and fanciful interpretations can always be argued against.


80 I have chosen to discuss Crosstalk and selectric.metal in this chapter for two primary reasons: the first being that they are both within the limits of the object of study f or this dissertation acousmatic pieces with referential sound materials. The second reason is that I feel these two pieces are among the most successful of my recent compositional output, and they represent a direction that I hope to explore further in subsequent compositions. Both pieces have been recognized on numerous occasions through presentations at national conferences and festivals including the SEAMUS national conference, the Electronic Music Midwest Festival, the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, and the Society for Composers, Inc. (SCI) national conference, in addition to several regional and graduate student festivals. Additionally, both pieces have been published in the University of Florida SCI Student Chapter CD series. selec tric.metal was awarded Honorable Mention (third place) in the SCI/ASCAP 2012 Student Commission Competition, and is also serving as the musical composition portion of my dissertation requirements, meant as a companion to this written document. Crosstalk (2010) The compositional process of Crosstalk began with a toy electric guitar, gained musical material from two Schoenberg compositions and a loose narrative along the way, and ended with a set of program notes that only partially represented two of those three elements. The only information available prior to concert, CD, or web listening is the following: Crosstalk noun. 1. Interference caused by two signals becoming partially superimposed on each other due to electromagnetic (inductive) or electrostatic (capacitive) coupling between the conductors carrying the signals. 2. Conversation that does not relate to the main topic being discussed.


81 These two definitions of the word crosstalk serve to illustrate two alternative views of the elements within the piece suggesting a particular narrative that I oftentimes relate when talking about the piece with potential listeners. However, the compositional path by which the piece came to attain this program was somewhat circuitous. Most of the sonic materials for Cro sstalk originated in a lengthy improvisation with the intent of ripping it apart to salvage components for other projects, but became intrigued by some of the noisier sounds I was able to coax out of the guitar when I connected it to an amplifier. The improvisation from which the ultimately usable material originated did originally include pitched melodic or rhythmic material, but this did not prove to be usefu l for the eventual composition. Of much more interest were the sounds I was able to create by running the signal through distortion processors and experimenting with sounds that I could create with the guitar without using the strings, such as slowly turn ing the crackly volume knob or banging on the side of the body. One very effective technique for sound generation was to hold the guitar up to various electrical devices in my home studio: my laptop, my flat screen monitor, the amplifier for my studio mon itors, etc. This formed the basis for one definition of the word crosstalk the intersection of different electrical signals. narrow timbral palette to be somewhat limiti ng. In search of some harmonically rich material, I settled upon a two measure excerpt from the third movement of 76). Following a section of the piece that contains much activity and dyna mic range, these two measures


82 form a quiet two measure pianissimo interlude within the string quartet, after which Schoenberg returned to the previous material. I decided to capitalize on this feeling of stasis within the excerpted Schoenberg sample, and time stretched the material to create versions that were eight and sixteen times the length of the original. In proceeding to assemble these noisy guitar sounds alongside the static string quartet sounds, I was simultaneously pursuing two different ideas. The first idea was represented in the second definition of the word crosstalk given in the program notes t attempting to create a form for the piece where different trains of thought are continuously interrupted by radically different ideas these variously interrupting ideas program notes that I have offered in masterclasses and informal discussions is that the piece depicts the activity along the radio spectrum or various television channels. On one channel the listener can find Material A, but when abruptly switching to another channel they may discover Material B. Throughout the piece, however, elements from Material B begin to combine with Material A, picking up traces of Material C: found somewhere in the static between the two channels. The second idea that I was attempting to explore within this piece is much more hidden, and has not been publicly discussed until the writing of this dissertation. While composing this piece, I had been ta sked by one of my professors with completing an analysis of the song Nacht Pierrot Lunaire The pitched material in Nacht stems almost entirely from a three note [0 1 4] pitch set, occurring with an initial pitch, an ascending minor thi rd, and a descending major third. In addition to using this


83 melodic motive repeatedly throughout the song, Schoenberg also uses this pitch relationship to determine transposition levels of larger segments. I blatantly ripped off this idea in Crosstalk by not only including this three note melodic motive within some of the sequences of short sounds, but also using these intervallic relationships to determine transposition levels of all other elements within the piece, including the Schoenberg string qu artet material. In effect, I was applying Schoenberg to Schoenberg. Having assembled a satisfactory composition out of my chosen source material by exploring these two ideas for the arrangement and modification of sounds, I was then tasked with the creati on of concert program notes as cited above. Given the background information provided concerning the compositional process, it should seem clear that these program notes only hint at a few of the elements that went into the creation of the work, to say no thing of potential interpretations. Definition 1 clearly hints at the source material gathered by experimenting with electrical interference, although this will only be apparent to listeners who are already familiar with this sound. Definition 2 provides a cryptic reference to the rapid shifts within the piece between different sound worlds, without making explicit the idea of different television or radio stations. The Schoenberg material is never referenced. The listener is thus unprepared to fully un derstand my intentions for the piece via the program notes, and must rely upon the listening experience if such an understanding is to happen. Having listened to the piece dozens of times in its completed form, I have increasingly heard one particular na rrative present within the materials, and even though I understand how the sounds were created and organized I have begun to find


84 these facts irrelevant to my listening. During the compositional process, I was not e motive, and applied it generously throughout the piece. I imagined that I would be able to achieve the same sort of unity found in Nacht with this recurring motive. As the piece took shape and additional layers of digital signal processing were applied the traces of this initial motive began to fall into the background. While I can easily detect the locations where Schoenberg inspired material surfaces within the piece, it is extremely unlikely that any other listener will notice this, much less find it relevant to their experience. The narrative that I hear within the piece now is partially in line with the television or radio program outlined earlier, but I find that outline somewhat problematic upon repeated listening. These rapid shifts between di fferent sound worlds at the beginning are truly effective at depicting this idea, but the program breaks down as the piece hear the string sounds and the electronic sounds as the two competing television programs being switched between, with the noisy sounds representing static or noise in between the channels. A few minutes into the piece, these distinctions begin to break d own and the sound worlds mingle in ways that cannot be explained through this program. Perhaps characters from one television program begin to cross over into other programs, but they also inhabit the space in between the channels. There is no apparent l ogic to the channel switching activities of the invisible holder of the remote control, as in the final three minutes of the piece we find ourselves fixed on whatever channel is playing the string quartet material, with only minor accents by other sounds.


85 selectric.metal (2011) selectric.metal provides another example of a piece where my pre and mid compositional intentions are not exactly reflective of either my own post compositional assessment or the interpretations of others. This piece was played on a public concert in an early form, and only took its final shape after substantial revisions. The work began as a simple exercise in using digital signal processing to gradually extend the timbre of a looping sample. Two main samples were used in the ori ginal version of the piece: an old fashioned typewriter and an industrial sewing machine. To this I added a few short samples of a bouncing ping pong ball and a camera. The basic form of the original piece featured the typewriter sample in the opening se ction, gradually becoming timbrally extended away from its original form. After an abrupt shift, the same process was repeated with the sewing machine sample. The signal processing for the sewing machine section included a process with some amount of fee dback, and the original end of the piece consisted of an extended drone resulting from this feedback process. This first version of the piece was named Untitled 2011 Though I felt Untitled 2011 was ready for public consumption at the time, it became clea r that the rudimentary form of the piece was too basic, and the material could not sustain interest. In beginning a revision of the piece, I began by taking a stereo mixdown of the original version, reversing the sound file, and placing it alongside in effect creating a palindrome. Mixing between these two versions of the piece provided some timbral variety, especially in earlier sections of the piece where the drone originally found only at the end was now featur ed. I applied several pitch shifting processes to the drone sound in order to create


86 harmonies and a variety of glissandi, but the piece was still lacking some element of interest. o add a drum track, so I located a set of drum loops and placed them end to end throughout the entire duration of the piece. Listening repeatedly to various sections of the piece, I decided to mix in the drums whenever I felt that the rest of the material was becoming tedious. Having very little idea what to make of this piece, I created the following cryptic set of program notes: Type. Bounce. Hit. Manufacture. Drone. Mix. Bak e. Serve. To a potential listener, this implies agency These are action words, possibly representing actions undertaken by the composer during the creation of the piece. A composition with these program notes might include the sounds created when one t ypes, bounces, hits, manufactures, drones, mixes, bakes, and serves. This is only partially true, as I intended to use these program notes to represent the larger process of composing the piece: mix, bake, and serve being the final three steps in my reci pe for this piece. As a piece of electroacoustic music, I (and many other individuals) find selectric.metal quite satisfactory As a work of creative sound art, the journey taken from one sound world to another is smartly executed, the sounds are attracti ve, and the pacing is engaging The referentiality of the sounds is somewhat baffling, though. One must question the relationship between typewriter, sewing machine, and drumset, within the context of the electronically generated chaos that now surrounds them. Are these


87 time to be understood solely as such? Or does the electroacoustic medium allow for the creation of a middleground between these three sound worlds, creati ng a narrative by which one sound transforms into another? More puzzling is the connection between the program notes and the piece of music. In describing a list of actions that are supposedly related to the piece, it seems as if I am implying to the lis tener that either these actions or the objects involved in said actions are somehow important to the perceptual experience of the piece. In a masterclass with James Mobberley he made it known that his impression of the non machine, and the drumset each have their own looping rhythmic pattern, and he was able to hear connections between these patterns; noting that he thought I had somehow engin eered these rhythms to be comple mentary in some fashion. In reality, the three main rhythmic loops within the piece arrived in my compositional toolbox fully formed apart from some minor editing and the obvious signal processing I made no effort to combine any of these separate rhythms. Howeve r, the typewriter section and the sewing machine section still maintain their overall processing trajectories from the early version of the piece, in addition to the elements added within the revision. The processes by which these two sounds become timbra lly and rhythmically extended are virtually identical, and the resulting sonic spaces are quite similar. When I hear these sections, I can clearly discern a difference between the two it may be easier for others to form this connection.


88 Upon submitting selectric.metal to a certain competition, I received the following notes from the juror Nick Brooke : appreciated the concise sound world, and also the ability to stop and start coheren tly (especially ca. 1:30) massed texture the whole time. The pitched material is quite beautiful, and parses the whole piece for me formally. The almost drumsetty material is cleverly brought in and out. I wondered a bit about the sudden retreat to quietness at 2:15 though I liked the formal idea of it, I wondered what immediate events motivated it. Around 5:06, very gorgeous. These comments suggest that this listener appreciated the piece on the level of interpret the referential sounds in the piece, nor to account for any sort of extra musical were indeed samples of an acoustic drumset subjected to subtle and drastic digital processing. Within the context of the absolute music framework where this listener placed the piece, the connection between this material and an actual drumset was lik ely irrelevant. The comments offered by Mobberley and Brooke, combined with my own listening experience and other informal comments offered after performances, all point to a non referential listening of the piece. While the sounds are indeed referential to real world objects and situations, it is difficult to hear the assembly of the sounds as a narrative of any sort. It seems as if it is most appropriate to discuss selectric.metal in ping pong balls, and cameras play no meaningful role in this piece. If this is indeed the case, why include such misleading program notes? Perhaps a more accurate set of selectric.metal


89 Final Thoughts This exploration of my own compositional process has served to demonstrate nducting a goals are oftentimes misleading. While this point has been discussed at length within literary criticism circles, many musical analyses (particularly those of electroacoustic music) would do we ll to set aside focusing on the connection between the music and the listener.


90 CHAPTER 7 CONCLUSION Within this dissertation, I demonstrated a significant gap within t he scholarship of electroacoustic music; a lack of in depth critical discussions of specific compositions that privilege the listening experience. In particular, I focused upon a parallel between the referentiality of acousmatic compositions and works of literature, extending ideas of semiotics and interpretation from their literary origins into the realm of electroacoustic music. I believe that this sort of discussion can be quite fruitful in the effort to further understand how electroacoustic compositi ons may be understood by listeners, particularly those who are not themselves composers. An emphasis on technology and compositional procedure does not illuminate the experience of listening to a work, and such an emphasis may even serve to turn potential listeners away from the field. As noted earlier, the field would benefit from further discussion of specific pieces of music not only within the electroacoustic centered academic scholarship, but potentially in wider reaching outlets. Within the academic electroacoustic community, journal articles, books, and conference presentations move more toward discussions of characterizing broad trends, technologies and compositional procedure at the expense of any discussion of criticism or aesthetic speculation. The most significant books published within the last few years on electroacoustic music topics have been overv iews, and even journals such as Organised Sound which have featured more philosophically leaning articles in the past have begun to focus more on recent trends and technologies. Important books authored or edited by Simon Emmerson in the past twenty yea rs have had unfortunately small publication numbers and are typically out of


91 print, and valuable On the Wires of Our Nerves: The Art of Electroacoustic Music 83 containing important aesthetic considerations from multiple pioneers in t At the same time, trends within the broader field of musicology continue to advance. I propose that the most fruitful way to advance the agenda I propose in this dissertation is twofold: to not only begin to include critical analyses of specific compositions within electroacoustic centered scholarship, but to also begin to turn the attention of those who are not themselves practitioners of electroacoustic music toward the extended possibi lities for musical discourse present in this style of music. While historians such as Richard Taruskin, Paul Griffiths, and Kyle Gann have done well to include discussions of electroacoustic music in their overviews of late twentieth century music, most o f the contemporary musicological scholarship concerns itself with non electroacoustic music, even then shying away from anything found in the late twentieth century. Granted, it is impossible for all musicological endeavors to account for all types of mus ic ; one must oftentimes discuss instrumental music, opera, electroacoustic music, and other styles in different settings. However, some crossover between the scholarship of electroacoustic and non electroacoustic music, when appropriate, could help to ill uminate the ways in which electroacoustic music may help us to understand certain concepts in music and may assist potential listeners in forming connections between the two formats. 83 Robin Julian Heifetz, ed ., On the Wir es of Our Nerves: The Art of Electroacoustic Music ( Cranbury, NJ : Associated University Presses 1989 ).


92 LIST OF REFERENCES Agawu Kofi Playing with Signs: A Semiotic Interpretation of Classic Music Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991. Agawu, Kofi. Music as Discourse: Semiotic Adventures in Romantic Music Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Contemporary Music Review Vol. 15, Part 1 (1996): 67 71 Organised Sound Vol. 12, No. 2 (2007): 113 122. The Atentive Listener edited by Harry Haskell, 83 85. London: Faber and Faber, 1995. Barthes, Roland Image Music Text 142 148. New York: Hill and Wang, 1977. Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulation. Translated by Sheila Faria Glaser Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1994. Beard, David and Kenneth Gloag. Musicology: The Key Concepts New York: Routledge, 2005. Brackett, John "Zorn, John." Grove Music Online Oxford Music Online Oxford University Press http :// ( accessed February 5, 2013 ). Budd, Malcolm. Values of Art: Pictures, Poetry, and Musi New Y ork: Penguin Books USA, 1995 Collini, Stefan ion te n Interpretation and Overinterpretation ed ited by Stefan Collini 1 21. Cambridge: Cambrid ge University Press, 1992 Collins The Cambridge Companion to Electronic Music New York: C ambridge Uni versity Press, 2007 Cook, Nicholas. A Guide to Musical Analysis New York: W.W Norton and Company, 1987. Dashow, James. Sequence Symbols n Electroacoustic Music: Analytical Perspectives edited by Thomas Licata 185 216. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002


93 Davies, Stephen Musical Meaning and Expressio n. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1994 Dean, Roger T., ed. The Oxford Handbook of Computer Music New York: Oxford, 2009 Dean, Roger T. Many Futures of Comput n The Oxford Handbook of Computer Music edited by Roger T. Dean 3 7. New York: O xford University Press, 2009. Demers, Joanna. Listening Through The Noise: The Aesthetics of Experimental Electronic Music New York: Oxford University Press, 201 0. Desantos, Sandra. translated by Curtis Roads Computer Music Journal 21, no. 3 (Autumn 1997): 11 19 Di Scipio, Agostino Jean Contours n Electroacoustic Music: Analytical Perspectives edited by Thomas Licata 151 186. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002 Eco, Umberto. A Theory of Semiotics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1976 Eco Umberto. n The Role of the Reader: Explorations in the Semiotics of Texts 47 66 Bloomington: In diana University Press, 1979 Eco, Umberto. The Role of the Reader: Explorat ions in the Semiotics of Texts Bloomington: In diana University Press, 1979 Eco Umberto. Travels in Hyperreality. New York : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1986. Eco, Umberto. The Limits of Interpretation. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990 Eco, Umb erto. n Interpretation and Overinterpretation edited by Stefan Collini 67 88. Cambridge: Cam bridge University Press, 1992. Emmerson, Simon. n The Language of Electroacoustic Music ed i ted by Simon Emmerson 17 39. New York: Harwood Academic Publish ers, 1986. Gann, Kyle. Music Downtown: Writings from the Village Voice Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2006. Heifetz, Robin Julian, ed. On the Wires of Our Nerves: The Art of Electroacoustic Music Cranbury, NJ : Associated University Presses 1989


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95 An acousmatic experience: Thoughts, reflections, and comments on the 1999 Australasian Computer Music Association conference Imaginary Space. 2 000. (accessed April 11, 2013 ). Norman, Kathari ne. ce in Two Works for n Music, Electronic Media and Culture ed ited by Simon Emmerson 217 244. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000 Norman, Katharine. Sounding Art: Eight Literary Excursions through Elect ronic Music Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Li mited, 2004 Norman, Katharine. nised experience). Organised Sound 15, no. 2 (2010): 116 124 Interpretation and Overinterpretation edited by Stefan Collini, 89 108. Cambridge: Cambrid ge University Press, 1992. The New Yorker (November 5, 2007): 98. Rothstein, Edward. "Criticism, §III: Since 1945 ." In Grove Music Online Ox ford Music Online (accessed October 19, 2010). Schaeffer, n Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music edited by Christoph Cox and Daniel Warner 7 6 81. New York: The Continuum Internati onal Publishing Group, 2006. Scruton, Roger The Aesthetics of Music New York : Oxford University Press, 1997 Simoni, Mary. As If n Analytical Methods of Electroacoustic Music ed ited by Mary Simoni 55 88. New York: Ro utledge, 2006 Smalley, Denis. ning in the Electroacoustic Era. Contemporary Music Review 13:2 (1996): 77 107. Tarasti, Eero. A Theory of Musical Semiotics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994. Taruskin, Richard. The Oxford History of Western Music, Vol. 5: Music in the Late Twentieth Century New York: Oxf ord University Press, 2010. Ethnomusic ology Vol. 43, No. 2. (Spring Summer, 1999): 221 255.


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97 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Travis Garrison is a composer, audio engineer, and performer of electroacoustic music. A common thread throughout his work is a blurring of the boundaries between things organic and things electronic, between the actual and the imagined, and between the r eal and the hyperreal. Current research interests include computer based improvisational systems and the aesthetics, history, and theory of electroacoustic music. Travis recently received Honorable Mention in the Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI) / American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers ( ASCAP ) 2012 Student Commission Competition. His works have been performed at conferences and festivals including the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), the Society for Electroacoustic M usic in the United States (SEAMUS) conference, the Electronic Music Midwest (EMM) festival, the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (NYCEMF), the Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI) National Conference, and the Symposium on Arts and Technology at Con necticut College. Travis holds a Ba chelor of Arts in c omputer m usic and c omposition from the University of California, San Diego, a Master of Arts in e lectroacoustic m usic from Dartmouth College, and a Ph.D. in m usic c omposition with a cogn ate in h istorical m usicology from the University of Florida. He has recently joined the staff of East Carolina University. For more information, please visit