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Affordances of Schizophonia (Graduate Colloquium by Cade Bourne and Yanping Ni)

Register for this event here.

Time: October 16, Friday, 1PM – 2:30PM (EST)

  • Professor John Supko (Associate Professor, Music Department, Duke University)
  • Members of the OS Collective – A collective of artists and scholars that work with multi-modal ethnographic installations and experimental ethnography

In 1977, composer and scholar R. Murray Schafer coined the term “schizophonia”, which he described as, “the split between an original sound and its electroacoustical transmission or reproduction.” Schafer viewed the separation of sound from its source as inherently destructive and a facet of anxieties regarding the gradual erasure of the sounds of nature and the human voice as a consequence of the technocratic incursion of industrial noise into increasingly dense urban acoustic ecologies.

The Field Recording is a time-honored technique across the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. This panel, comprised of anthropologists, ethnomusicologists, composers, and sound artists, asks:

  • Is the separation of sound from its source necessarily a destructive or violent process?
  • What are the possibilities for the use of field recordings both as part of the ethnographic process and as an ethnographic product?
  • What are the ethics of the recording and reproduction of sound in ethnography and music composition?
  • Can ethnography be distinguished from art?

Sources for informed consideration:
1. Four selected tracks from John Supko’s composition work:

2. Three selected works by the OS Collective (one 30-minute piece and two 6-minute responses; they are all included in one stream) here.

3. Readings (download from here);

  • Schafer, R. Murray. 1997 [1977]. “Introduction.” In The Soundscape : Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World, 3-12. Rochester: Destiny Books.
  • Schafer, R. Murray. 1997 [1977]. “The Electric Revolution.” In The Soundscape : Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World, 88-99. Rochester: Destiny Books.
  • McLuhan, Marshall. 2017. “Visual and Acoustic Space.” In Audio Culture, Readings in Modern Music, 89-94. New York: Bloomsbury.

(Optional) Suggested Viewings:

  • Tornatore, Giuseppe, dir.The legend of 1900. 1998; Chatsworth, CA: New Line Home Entertainment, 2002. DVD.
  • Hsiao-Hsien, Hou, dir. Café Lumière. 2003; New York: Wellspring Media, 2005. DVD.
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