Sound in structure: Applying spectromorphological concepts.
This paper departs from critical discussion of the concepts and terminology used by Denis Smalley to outline the ‘spectromorphological’ approach to the listening process. It then seeks to elaborate and apply salient aspects of the descriptive language of spectromorphology through analysis of electroacoustic works. Smalley’s work sets out a descriptive terminology for sounds that is highly appropriate to the complex materials found in electroacoustic music. This paper will suggest ways in which the acoustical and behavioural aspects of sound can be linked to a set of perceptually-defined organisational archetypes which in turn may be reflected in the form-bearing elements of electroacoustic music. The malleability of materials under electroacoustic technology means that the concept of a continuum is an appropriate archetype for describing the fluid way in which extremes of sonic design and identity can be connected at a fundamental level. Analytical examples will be drawn largely from two works: Smalley’s Base Metals (2000) and Mario Mary’s Haulie (2002).
Citation:Young, J. (2005) Sound in Structure: Applying Spectromorphological Concepts. Paper presented at the 2005 Electroacoustic Music Studies Network Conference, McGill University, Montreal.
Research Group:Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre
- School of Arts