Network[ed] Listening – towards a de-centering of beings

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In this paper, I question modes of listening in network music performance environments, and specifically draw on my experience as a performer listening in these scenarios. I situate network listening within the context of current music making, and refer to changes in compositional practices that draw specific attention to listening. I argue that some of these compositional developments play a determining role in articulating a new discourse of listening. Eric Satie's concept of Furniture Music, Schaeffer's ideas on reduced listening, Oliveros' deep listening practices as well as digital music platforms all serve to show a development towards a proliferation in listening experiences. I expand this narrative to listening practices in network performance environments, and identify a specific bodily fragility in listening in and to the network. This fragile state of listening and de-centered kind of performative being allow me to draw parallels to the Japanese art form Butoh and Elaine Scarry's metaphor of beauty. My own performance experiences, set within the context of several critical texts, allow me to see network[ed] listening as an ideal corporeal state, which offers a rethinking of linear conceptions of the other and a subject's own relation with her world. Ultimately, network[ed] listening posits listening as a corporeal and multi-dimensional experience that is continuously being re-shaped by technological, socio-political and cultural concerns.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-229
Number of pages15
JournalContemporary Music Review
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2012

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