James O’Callaghan


  • James O’Callaghan
  • Year of composition: 2014
  • Duration: 10:19
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium [with optional additional sound diffusion inside an acoustic guitar and a toy piano]
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T9194129210

Bodies-Soundings interrogates two instruments — an acoustic guitar and a toy piano — as ‘sounding bodies,’ whose resonant chambers do not sound, but only ‘resound.’ The instruments are used as loudspeaker cabinets, amplifying sounds both sourced from the instruments, and external sounds that expand and contradict the instruments’ identities. Without performers, they are simultaneously ‘disembodied’ and re-imagined as physical bodies of their own, animated by living sounds; anthropomorphizing them while also emphasizing their physical construction.

Bodies-Soundings is the second work in a trilogy of acousmatic pieces, with Objects-Interiors (2013) and Empties-Impetus (2014-15), that imagine the sounding bodies of instruments as resonant spaces.


Bodies-Soundings was realized in 2014 at The Banff Centre for the Arts (Banff, Canada) and at the composer’s studio in Montréal (Québec), and premiered on March 8, 2014 during the Cluster festival in Winnipeg (Canada). Bodies-Soundings was awarded the First Prize at the Musicworks Electronic Music Competition (Toronto, Canada, 2014).


  • March 8, 2014, Cluster 2014 — Amplification: Culmination, Urban Shaman, Winnipeg (Manitoba, Canada)