Ruffoni, Christopher (2012) A Turn to Listening: How New Understandings of the Listening Process Affect Approaches to Sound Art and Experimental Music. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Composers and artists working in various strands of contemporary avant-garde music and sound art have identified that the role of the listener is crucial to the understanding of their work. Through a discussion of philosophical listening theories, with particular interest in the influence of technological advances, accompanied by a portfolio of original compositions that are influenced by these ideas, this project seeks to identify why this is the case and what this says about today's western culture. The commentary traverses the dichotomy that emerges from differing aesthetic viewpoints regarding how the listener exdperiences sound, with a reflection on how these viewpoints relate to the music submitted in the portfolio. The portfolio of fixed media compositions, influenced by electronic drone, electroacoustic and minimalist/ post-minimalist experimental acoustic works, uses minimal materials and music technology to explore elements of the listening procvess by bringing attention to small surface variations and near repetition. Mostly, the works are created with acoustic instruments performed by the author/ composer, recorded in a studio then arrnaged on a DAW with little processing. These immersive pieces find unique forms through a combination of indeterminacy, guided improviation, process and computer sequencing. A more profound appreciation for our perceptual facilities is seen as one possible antidote to the unrelenting fast paced techno-culture that many of us live in.

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