Leonardo Abstract Services (LABS) 2010-2012
Embodied Composition: Treatment and Meaning of Physical Object in Experimental Music and Sound Art
This thesis is a theoretical examination of musical and artistic works and practices where physical object other than musical instrument is used in the production of musical meaning. This subject is explored within the frame of contemporary music, experimental music and sound art, but the systematic overview is made from the perspective of the last two genres. The focus is on explaining how physical objects acquire musical function from theoretical point of view, and what practical interventions are needed to make an object produce musical meaning. Objects within musical context can have various functions, and some of these functions that I considered essential, have been described and analyzed through the works by distinguished artists. Based on the prevailing characteristics of these objects, I named five categories that tell us about the objects’ origin, purpose and the way they are being used.
Inspiration for this research comes from the existence of discrepancy between the abstraction of music (sound and musical form for example) and corporeality of objects, which are able to exist together in the form of musical objects that I am describing. My goal was to develop a better comprehension of the reason why for centuries artists have aimed towards the embodiment of music into physical form, to spot the milestones of the change that the use of objects brought into musical discourse, and to identify indications of new musical practices that are developing around these objects. At the furthest end, I am aiming to explain the growing tendency of objectification of musical representation in the contemporary art world.
Degree: MA in Sound In New Media
University: Aalto university School of Art and Design
Supervisor: Antti Ikonen
Supervisor 2: Marianne Decoster-Taivalkoski
Dept: Sound in New Media
Copyright: Svetlana Maras
Keywords: experimental music, sound art, physical object, composition
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