lunes, 2 de diciembre de 2013

Archaeology of listening

Abstract presented to the XII Belgrade International Music Conference

F. Tito Rivas
(Fonoteca Nacional, Mexico)

The main purpose of this paper is to discuss the idea and possibilities of an archaeology of listening. Through this we mean the idea that sound (as a cultural “object”) that is produced by art (music among other expressions) is a consequence of the manner in which a community listens, and how too, reciprocally, the way in which a community listens, obeys to the sound produced by the community itself. Through this dialectic relationship (not free of paradoxes) we could observe, on an historical grid, how our listening is a transformable dispositive and how these transformations occurs –or not- according to the “laws” of the prevaling musical discourses.

Based on the fundamental idea that there is a difference between what is listened and the sound heard, we could be able to detect, in the middle, the cultural, physical, political, aesthetical “structures” that goes across the experience of listening of any individual.

This would let us suppose that there could exist something like a history of listening that is revealed, esencially, by the sound and musical objects that are produced and reproduced by local societies. This would place us into an exploration of these objects in the same way an archaeologist would study a piece of ceramic or an ancient coin to describe and to imagine the behavior of a society from the past.

We should have discuss how this archaeology of listenig would work with concrete objects that, in this case, are also noumenal or abstract objects: musical forms, scales, ways of tunning, rhythms, instruments, that would appear as documented remains of the way some groups and some societies, organize and build a special way to produce sound and listen to it.

With this approach we might be able to observe the strategies and tactics of transformation and continuity of musical discourses. This approach is not only historical: it has to do with an epistemological, political, psyco-physiological point of view (of listening, we must say) of the experience of making, transforming, built and destroy any musical tradition.

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