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Careful Convivial Listening: Making Sound Work Apparent as Political Action
Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), School of Arts and Communication (K3).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4388-5879
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Focusing on the creation and performance of sound work this doctoral thesis considers the value of listening as a site of political action. The meaning of sound work is dual; connoting both an artifact that is created and performed, a work of art, and the processes of creating sound, the work of listening. Listening is integral to the creation and performance of sound work and is defined in this thesis as an aesthetic relation generated in the in-between of hearing subject, sound and sound technology. Drawing on the philosophy of Hannah Arendt I recognize a distinction between the objective world building of work, and the transformative potential of political action. Listening and the relational qualities that listening affords are integral to the processes through which sound work can transform to become apparent as political action. In my doctoral research I consider a diversity of sound work including popular music, sound art, podcasting and contemporary experimental music. Applying an experimental media research methodology, I interrogate sound work’s potential to be made apparent as political action using a repertoire of methods drawn from ethnography, artistic research and participatory design. In this research I find that sound work’s potential to become apparent as political action is informed by both the quality of attention tendered by hearing subjects and the material affordances of sound and sound technology. Being attentive to the agencies of both human subjects and non-human objects I posit that an orientation towards careful convivial listening in the creation and performance of sound work can succeed in making political action apparent. Reflecting on the contribution that this research makes within the field of media and communication studies I recognise that sound work, careful convivial listening and experimental media exist as tools that can be applied in future research to build new knowledge and instigate transformative change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Malmö: Malmö University Press, 2024. , p. 220
Series
School of Arts and Communication Dissertation Series ; 9
Keywords [en]
Care, Conviviality, Experimental Media, Listening, Sound Work
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-66019DOI: 10.24834/isbn.9789178774548ISBN: 978-91-7877-453-1 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7877-454-8 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-66019DiVA, id: diva2:1838733
Public defence
2024-05-23, NI:C0E11, Niagara, Nordenskiöldsgatan 1, Malmö, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2024-02-19 Created: 2024-02-19 Last updated: 2024-04-10Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Charting a Convivial Continuum in British Post-war Popular Music 1948–2018
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Charting a Convivial Continuum in British Post-war Popular Music 1948–2018
2020 (English)In: Conviviality at the Crossroads: The Poetics and Politics of Everyday Encounters / [ed] Oscar Hemer; Maja Povrzanović Frykman; Per-Markku Ristilammi, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020, 1st, p. 203-225Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This chapter seeks to chart a convivial continuum within Caribbean influenced British post-war popular music. Conviviality is understood here to find expression in social formations where essentialised racial identifications and their associated hierarchies breakdown. Popular music is an important site at which to trace convivial formation and its relationship with migration within the UK because it offers a productive site at which vibrant intermixture and combination have taken place. In this chapter, these processes of intermixture and combination are understood in terms of creolisation. Calypso, reggae, post-punk, jungle, two-step garage, dubstep and grime are explored as sites of signifying-practice and corporeal affect with potential to articulate identity positions and experiences that are anti-essential and capable of disrupting racial hierarchies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020 Edition: 1st
Keywords
Conviviality, Corporeal Affect, Creolisation, Hauntology, Popular music
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-61812 (URN)10.1007/978-3-030-28979-9_11 (DOI)2-s2.0-85148847625 (Scopus ID)978-3-030-28978-2 (ISBN)978-3-030-28979-9 (ISBN)
Available from: 2023-08-09 Created: 2023-08-09 Last updated: 2024-02-19Bibliographically approved
2. Music for Universities: Composing with MP3 and iPod
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Music for Universities: Composing with MP3 and iPod
2021 (English)In: Artifact & Apparatus: Journal of Media Archaeology, Vol. 1, p. 1-21Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article addresses Music for Universities, a bespoke musical instrument assembled from 12 iPods and the MP3 audio format. I seek to interrogate the allure of these obsolescent audio technologies and explore what their reappropriation within a media archaeology might reveal about the listening subject positions coded into the MP3, and the drive towards private and individual listening experience that the iPod enacts. Applying Jacques Derrida's concept of hauntology, I explore the potential of Music for Universities as a transformative critical art. Hauntology's aestheticization of imperfection and redundancy is generative here because it works to productively resist the allure of obsolescence.

National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-61811 (URN)
Available from: 2023-08-09 Created: 2023-08-09 Last updated: 2024-02-19Bibliographically approved
3. Sounds like ‘home’: The synchrony and dissonance of podcasting as boundary object
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sounds like ‘home’: The synchrony and dissonance of podcasting as boundary object
2021 (English)In: Radio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast and Audio Media, ISSN 1476-4504, E-ISSN 2040-1388, Vol. 19, no 1, p. 117-136Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Working at the intersection of migration studies and radio studies, we interrogate podcasting’s potential as a practice-based activist research method. This article documents podcasting’s role in an ethnographic project conducted together with Konstkupan (The Art Hive), a migrant-focused community arts space in Malmö, Sweden. We argue that the value of podcasting as a practice-based research method exists in its potential to function as a boundary object. Boundary objects are technologies and processes bridging social worlds and providing sites of communication and translation between groups. Challenging narratives that detect a decline in podcasting’s radical potential, we argue that as a boundary object, podcasting’s political significance continues in how it convenes small, diverse, but attentive ‘listening publics’. A boundary object does not demand consensus on the meanings or representations it produces, affording space for both the synchrony and dissonance of narratives produced by migrants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Intellect Ltd., 2021
Keywords
boundary object; ethno-mimesis; ethnography; listening; migration; podcasting
National Category
Media Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-44905 (URN)10.1386/rjao_00037_1 (DOI)
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P18-0819:1P18-0819:1
Available from: 2021-08-18 Created: 2021-08-18 Last updated: 2024-02-19Bibliographically approved
4. Listening with Elephant Ears: Contesting Exclusion at the Intersection of Virtuosity and Ableism
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Listening with Elephant Ears: Contesting Exclusion at the Intersection of Virtuosity and Ableism
2023 (English)In: Resonance: Journal of Sound and Culture, E-ISSN 2688-867X, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 88-108Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article addresses Listening with Elephant Ears, a contemporary music composition and performance created by the author together with the Elefantöra (Elephant Ear) ensemble. Elefantöra is a norm-critical music ensemble that includes both disabled and non-disabled musicians. When musicians are defined as disabled, normative assumptions regarding the correct use of musical instruments and expert definitions of good sound generate rehabilitative approaches to music that perpetuate exclusions of ableism. This article examines the intersections that exist between exclusions of ableism and exclusions based on musical virtuosity. It focuses on the ways in which Elefantöra contests both exclusions of ableism and virtuosity in their creative reappropriations of sound technology. Composed in the fall of 2020 as a collaborative artistic research engagement, Listening with Elephant Ears was first performed at the Lund Contemporary Music Festival in Sweden, October 2021. The article draws on ethnographic and sound material generated from my artistic research engagement with Elefantöra. Created during the COVID-19 pandemic, Listening with Elephant Ears actively reappropriates the Zoom video conference software as a music technology. The piece embraces Zoom’s limitations and emphasizes the aesthetic value of the audio distortions and digital interference that Zoom introduces into musical performance. Critiquing regimes of regulation that situate disabled musicians differently to non-disabled musicians, Listening with Elephant Ears applies care as a theoretical perspective from which to reflect critically on rehabilitative approaches to music and the associated exclusions of ableism and musical virtuosity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of California Press, 2023
Keywords
Ableism, Contemporary Music, Care, Listening, Sound Technology, Virtuosity, Zoom
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-61810 (URN)10.1525/res.2023.4.1.88 (DOI)
Available from: 2023-08-09 Created: 2023-08-09 Last updated: 2024-02-19Bibliographically approved

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Figure 5 – Audio Content - s01 ep03 Teaching Home – Samordningsnummer – 05m 43s(64432 kB)88 downloads
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Figure 8 – Audio Content – Music for Universities full length version 47m 35s(44526 kB)77 downloads
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Figure 10 – Audio Content – Listening with Elephant Ears recording Element Studios Gothenburg 05-10-2021 06m 58s(71937 kB)84 downloads
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FIGURE 1 - Audio Content Paper IV - Listening with Elephant Ears 06m 58s Additional vocal performance by Zofia Åsenlöf Recorded live at Lund Contemporary Music Festival October 2021(6558 kB)94 downloads
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FIGURE 2 - Audio Content Paper IV - Found Sound Journey 0m 30s(491 kB)78 downloads
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FIGURE 3 - Audio Content Paper IV - Listening with Elephant Ears - 01m 23s Extract from isolated Zoom recording from workshop 3(1313 kB)69 downloads
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FIGURE 4 - Audio Content Paper IV - Pre-recorded tape content mixed by Gusten Aldenklint 06m 52s(6439 kB)67 downloads
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fulltext(18461 kB)5 downloads
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