> > > John Dack: new chapter on “Pierre Schaeffer and the (Recorded) Sound Source”

John Dack: new chapter on “Pierre Schaeffer and the (Recorded) Sound Source”
In ‘Sound Objects,' J.Steintrager & R. Chow (eds), Duke University Press, 2018

‘Sound Objects’ edited by James Steintrager and Rey Chow. To be published by Duke University Press in 2018.

Dr John Dack’s chapter “Pierre Schaeffer and the (Recorded) Sound Source” was commissioned by Rey Chow and James Steintrager who are editors of the volume ‘Sound Objects’. This book will be published by Duke University Press in 2018. Other contributors include Michel Chion, Michael Bull and Brian Kane. John Dack’s chapter concentrates on a detailed reading of Schaeffer’s stage of ‘characterology’. Although the recording process obscures origin and agency, Schaeffer’s concept of ‘genres’ or sound families proposed in ‘characterology’, encourages the listener to create solely by means of perception, groups of sounds that appear to come from a common origin. However, ‘genres’ do not occupy fixed areas of the sound universe. In electroacoustic music they can fragment and re-configure. Moreover, Schaeffer’s concepts can also be applied to instrumental composition (Schaeffer frequently used the verb ‘généraliser to emphasize how his theories could be applied to music in general). The analysis of much contemporary music can, therefore, benefit from the application of Schaefferian ‘genres’.

John Dack also presented at two conferences during the summer on one of his current research areas: ‘open forms’ in music. The paper at the 9th European Music Analysis Conference in Strasbourg investigated the analytical implications of ‘open forms’ in contemporary music with particular reference to the compositions ‘Klavierstück XI’ and ‘Zyklus’ by Karlheinz Stockhausen. The second paper ‘Analysis of ‘Open Forms’: Problems and Approaches’ was given at the 8th International Conference on Music/Sonic Arts: Practice and Theories which was held at the Institut für Musikwissenschaft und Muskinformatik in Karlsruhe, Germany. Funding was provided by research funds from the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries. This paper concentrated on the implications for electroacoustic music. Particular emphasis was given to the composition ‘Scambi’ by Henri Pousseur. The conference was organised by John Dack and his wife Mine Dogantan-Dack of Cambridge University.