Through the air with the greatest of ease: Phonogenie

Af
30. august 2016

Academic Audio Paper

Listen to the audio paper in Sound Cloud:

Abstract

This audio work emerges from an exploration of songs as temporal and affective phenomena for ‘Fluid Sounds’. Film-maker Jean Epstein proposed that: “It’s across the sound fields of the vast world that we must spread our microphones… the important thing is to place oneself in positions which do not exclude the unexpected” (Epstein 2012).

Working on the islands of Brittany, Epstein was engaged with the psychic, philosophical and affective resonances of altering the time of sonic experience through phonogenie: sound magic. For the Fluid Sounds workshops in Copenhagen and London, participants contributed ‘remembered songs’  in response to prescribed scores, working on-site and telematically from Faroe Islands and the UK: singing and discussing sources, memory and affect.

The workshops explored disorientation through vocal performativity, sharing songs in the space between our embodied island selves. Sounds and ideas emerged from the shared experience of affective listening and liminal silences, as well as vocal work. This piece draws the workshop material together with reflections on the potentialities of working with the techné of recording, altering rhythm and time-base, into an expanded, collective, co-operative and transgressive sonic archipelago.

Bibliography

Benjamin, W. (1999) The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. H. Arendt (ed.), Illuminations, trans.H. Zorn, London: Pimlico, pp. 211-244.

Bakhtin, M. (1984) Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics [1929]. Caryl Emerson (ed. and trans.): Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Burgin, V. (2004) The Remembered Film, London: Reaktion Books.

Epstein, J. (1993) The Cinema Continues (from Cinéa-Ciné 1, Nov. 1930).  Abel, R. (ed.), French Film Theory and Criticism, Vol. 2, Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press.

Epstein, J. (2012) The Close Up of Sound (from Esprit de cinéma, 1955). S. Keller and J. Paul (eds.), Jean Epstein, Critical Essays and New Translations, (trans. Franck le Gac). Amsterdam: Amsterdam Univ. Press.

Mulvey, L.  (2006) Death 24x a second: stillness and the moving image, London: Reaktion Books.

Songs: 
Burns, R. (1783), Green Grow The Rashes 
Leybourne, G. and Lyle, G. (1867) The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze 

 

Keywords

affect
phonogenie
slow-motion
songs
temporality