RE: traduction/translation

Subject: RE: traduction/translation
From: Kevin Austin (
Date: Wed Oct 26 2005 - 11:36:11 EDT

Perhaps part of the question is whether the term applies to
electroacoustics (in general), sound (in general), or electroacoustic

I have taken it to be a proposal for listening to sound in general,
not limited by the concept of 'sound from a point source'.

With this as an earlier pre-condition, as I read on perception and
cognition, I found the Schaefferian concepts of reduced listening and
sound object to become more and more naive.

In writing about 'sound', from my understanding, his approach was
'philosophical' (in a sense), and possibly as Eliot brought up, (with
additions) ...

The term almost certainly originates in Edmund Husserl's (1859 -
1938) "phenomenological reduction." I don't know what Schaeffer's
intellectual props were but it would be rather amazing if he'd never
studied Merleau-Ponty
(phenomenology of perception, etc.) this having been exceedingly
fashionable in his day.

I feel that Schaeffer's writings may have for a moment had a place at
the table, but a bit like Freud, the 'followers' have pursued a path
that rigorous research has shown to be strewn with inaccuracies.

In my own model (also presented at EMS 2005) I proposed a loose
division of the field into physical (metrics) and perceptual /
philosophical (psychometrics for want of a better term).

I place Schaeffer's ideas into the philosophical area, as, as far as
I can tell, he does not address matters of 'perceptual division' of
the stimulus stream into (1) initial segmentation (quantization of
time), and then into (2) segregation / integration.

 From the model I propose, the "sound object" does not exist. The work
to be done is to understand the perceptual and intellectual processes
that allow for the concept of the 'sound object'. If one deals with
sounds, and their relationships as "processes", the sound world may
have a different hue.

As an extension of Eliot's idea of modelling listening, I propose
that the "analysis" of listening work within three broad categories:
physical, perceptual and (psychological/ ) philosophical.

The physical is characterized by the displacement of molecules of
air. These are handled by "instantaneous / sampled" time (as a sample
is on a CD, or the displacement of a stylus on vinyl etc), or
"quantized / windowed" time, which will allow for the (derived)
concepts of frequency and then spectrum.

The perceptual area works on the process of separation into the
"horizontal" (segmentation), and "vertical" (segregation > streaming
/ integration > coherent spectrum).

The (psychological) philosophical is about the context, and includes
historical, sociological, cultural, critical / descriptive,
philosophical / speculative aspects, bound together through
(meta-)linguistic organization.

And, all of these are in the service of "understanding", and deriving
"meaning". The meaning is related to the past-present, and future.
The combination of response to meaning (emotional states) with
imagination, is a basis for creativity.

In order for the sound artist to express / reveal this creativity, it
is necessary for the displacement of molecules of air. A circle? For
me, a spiral.

Your mileage will most likely vary, given past experience.

In my presentation Joel (Chadabe) 'objected to' / commented on my use
(and possibly definition) of the term "electroacoustic". He proposed
electric sound as I recall, but I have a terrible memory.

It was (I believe) Gary Kendall who immediately asked me about
"electroacoustic music", to which I replied that I had not used the
term. My primary musical reference was to a keen example of
"intuitive" segmentation > segregation / integration being the
Beethoven late quartets.

My model proposes to be as inclusive of cell-phone conversations as
it is of talk-radio, pop music, classical music recordings,
radiophonic art, acousmatics, and 'concert ea' ... in fact, any
situation where a loudspeaker is the source (sic) [transducer].



PS Oh yes, "reduced hearing" is a psychological / philosophical concept.

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