Sampling and the 'sound object' in contemporary sonic art

Bates, N 2013, Sampling and the 'sound object' in contemporary sonic art, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Art, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Sampling and the 'sound object' in contemporary sonic art
Author(s) Bates, N
Year 2013
Abstract This project aims to develop a working methodology for the use of sampling in the production of new sound works for recording and performance. Sampling is the use of fragments of recorded sound using recording technology that affords high fidelity recording, instant playback, transposition and processing facilities. It is explored in the project works as a medium that challenges traditional notions of composition, score, performance, originality and musical legitimacy.

The research is conducted using the contemporary understanding of sampling as a practice that uses, or reuses, existing music recordings, most often the work of others. However, this research contends that sampling has its origins in musique concrète, the approach to music developed by Pierre Schaeffer from 1948 onwards, that focuses on music made empirically from recorded sound material separated from its source. In contrast to contemporary sampling, musique concrète adopts a much broader palette that includes recordings of ‘non-musical’ sounds of the environment, in addition to manipulated acoustic and electronic instrumental sound sources.

Philosophically, this research develops the position that the tension between sampling sound of recognisable origin and the musique concrète approach of freeing sound from referential allusion is fertile territory for production that does not necessarily require the resolution of the tension.

The research reveals a number of fundamental dualities inherent in the practice of sampling that create similar tensions; tensions between composition and performance, between the original and the copy, and between the producer and the consumer. Embedded within the work produced in both recorded form and in live performance, these dualities are shown to be the grey areas ripe for creative exploration.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Art
Keyword(s) sampling
musique concrète
audio production
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Created: Fri, 04 Apr 2014, 15:06:13 EST by Lynne Johns
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