Materials, Meaning and Metaphor: Unveiling Spatio-temporal Pertinences in Acousmatic Music

Elizabeth Anderson

This dissertation addresses two topics. The first is a preliminary investigation into the listening strategies for electroacoustic music by François Delalande. A listening experiment was undertaken to test Delalande’s strategies and to learn from listeners’ responses in order to apply them to compositional practice. This process prompted the conception of a new, integrated reception behaviour framework for electroacoustic music that comprises four listening strategies: sonic properties, structural attributes, self-orientation, and imaginary realms. The second topic is the poietico-esthesic analysis of the folio of acousmatic compositions from the perspective of the reception behaviours framework.

The intention of the reception behaviours framework is to illuminate those sounds and structures in electroacoustic music that could be perceived as carriers of meaning. The analysis of the acousmatic compositions in the portfolio, from the perspective of the reception behaviours framework, aims to illustrate how the acousmatic composer can attempt to create meaning in an acousmatic work.

While space is observed as the common denominator in the reception behaviours framework from an esthesic perspective, space and time are proposed as common denominators that carry all poietic intention. Hence, space and time can be seen as universal carriers through which meaning can subsequently be conveyed and perceived.

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