Multi-form Visualisation: An approach to acousmatic composition




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De Montfort University


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Peer reviewed


This practice-based doctoral research addresses a critical issue in acousmatic composition: the journey from the immaterial world of sonic imagination to the realisation of musical sound. This was an exploratory journey, where my personal sensibility for visual arts practice met my curiosity and profound interest in acousmatic music. Methodologically, the project approached acousmatic composition as an organic process, intertwining visual sensibilities and musical domains by offering a critical approach to the listening experience and to my compositional practice. A key metaphor used is that of the blank page as a space for multi-form visualisation, where gestures derived from sketching and other visual stimuli are used as guides and catalysts for the realisation of sound. In this approach, a process of deliberately blurring boundaries between real and imaginary realms affords a space to daydream to be moved by sounds, the flow of mental images, virtual sensations, and memory-images that one can associate with traces, dots, shapes or textures. This parallel allows me to find my way within the sonic realm, shaping sound materials and sequences that progressively define a musical structure. This space, which has no proper physical existence, invites sonic and visual perception and imagination to confront, destroy and renew each another, directing the music’s emergence through a feedback loop between the visual and the aural. A key conceptual tool in this practice is the notion of sensory qualia and a blend of phenomenological and ecological views of sound and bodily centered, internally registered responses. By focusing on qualitative sensations derived from drawing, painting and sensations of motion in the natural world, parallels with the sonic imagination are stimulated. The graphical expression of gestures deployed in space and time becomes a space of boundless, imaginative reflection of the composer’s sonic conceptions and expectations.





Research Institute