A sense of place: a sense of space

Dack, John and Gibbs, Tony (2008) A sense of place: a sense of space. In: Recorded Music: Philosophical and Critical Reflections. Dogantan-Dack, Mine, ed. Middlesex University Press, London. ISBN 9781904750277

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Abstract

This chapter was based on a paper presented at the Leeds International Music Technology Education Conference in 2004 which summarised and evaluated our experiences on the Sonic Arts degree course at Middlesex University. Our curriculum included subject areas such as sound design, electroacoustic composition, studio craft and interface design. Given the diverse nature of these subject areas it is both challenging and necessary to identify common concerns in what might otherwise appear to be an unconnected collection of subjects. In the chapter we discussed the development of listening skills promoting an awareness of ‘place’ and ‘space’ in sound artworks. Three representative examples were introduced. First, in recording classical music the engineer is concerned inter alia with the reproduction of a given space. Spaces such as concert halls are often selected for their particular acoustic qualities and the resulting recording places the listener in a specific location. Second, when recording popular music, microphones are placed according to the characteristics of the instruments but also, for example, to create different, discrete acoustic spaces within the recording itself. Furthermore, these components may be recorded in differing acoustic environments – even in different studios. The third example chosen for consideration was the use of space and sound location in electroacoustic music. The electroacoustic composer articulates structure not only by movement between virtual spaces (some with impossible acoustic properties), but also by invoking cultural and social aspects of spatial awareness. By developing a sensibility to these different applications of place and space and examining how they contradict or support each other the listener acquires a theoretical framework which can then help sound artist who wish to inform their practice.

Item Type:Book Section
Research Areas:School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts
ID Code:984
Deposited On:09 Feb 2009 13:09
Last Modified:13 May 2014 15:16

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