Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The evolution of soundscores for improvisers
by Condry, Rachel, M.F.A., Mills College, 2012, 39; 1510826
Abstract (Summary)

Musicians who improvise engage with the space and each other through listening. Listening is a complex process of perception in which sound enters the body through the ears and resonates inward and outward-connecting body, mind, and spirit with environment, culture, and history. Soundscores use recordings of contemporary soundscapes to activate improvisation. These recordings, made in locations where nature and modern culture intersect, are brought into a traditional concert hall setting through speakers and/or headphones to engage musicians. Soundscores differ from other improvised scores, such as graphic or instructional scores, because they do not require that the performer translate visual stimulus into sound. Rather, they use sound to inspire sound. The live performance of music offers time and a dedicated space for connection to real spaces through listening, which can be both personal and communal in nature. Soundscores make use of sound's ability to penetrate inner and outer spaces to connect listeners to their environment as well as to themselves and each other. Soundscores have evolved from my own listening: to history, to culture and strive to extend my listening through the creation of shared listening spaces. In the performance of a Soundscore, the interaction between the score, the improvisers and the audience enables new listening perspectives to be perceived. Soundscores invite a chain of listeners--from composer to performer to audience--to participate in a shared listening space, where layers of listening experiences bridge internal and external, as well as real and imagined spaces and offer new perspectives of our selves, each other and the world we inhabit.

Please note: an audio CD containing examples of several pieces detailed in The Evolution of Soundscores for Improvisers is available in the Mills College Library Archive.

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Frith, Fred, Parkins, Zeena
School: Mills College
Department: Music
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 50/06M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Music
Keywords: Acousmatic, Audio, Deep listening, Improvisation, Scores, Soundscores
Publication Number: 1510826
ISBN: 9781267355676
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