Human perception of sound may not be restricted to aural stimuli as perceptual experience may not be modality specific (McGurk & MacDonald, 1976; Calvert, et al, 1997; Krumhansl & Schenck, 1997; Guttman, Gilroy, & Blake, 2005; Bulkin & Groh, 2006; Skipper, van Wassenhove, Nusbaum, & Small, 2007; McAuley & Henry, 2010; Man, Kaplan, Damasio & Meyer, 2012; O’Callaghan, 2015; Vilhauer, 2015; Su & Salazar-López, 2016). Several musical works by Schnebel
generate an imaginary
or non-cochlear sound
through live gestural performance
, an image or a text
; as does Pisaro
’s text piece Braids : for (silent) reader
composes text pieces to evoke imaginary sound in live concert and other modes
; and Ablinger
uses still photography in Music without Sounds,
which ‘only make sense when considered as music’ (Ablinger, 2013, Seeing and Hearing section).
seeks to reorientate the visible location of the human voice onto a dummy or character (Connor, 2000) and comic books imply sound through language (McCloud, 1993; Oyola, 2011; Vilhauer, 2015), the temporal medium of video may be capable of reorienting music beyond the fluctuations of air pressure associated with physical sound production (Berger, 2002; Guttman, Gilroy & Blake, 2005;
O’Callaghan, 2015). Video presented the opportunity to apply my composerly experience of working with the temporal phenomenon of sound to an alternative temporal medium. Therefore, all pieces in the portfolio do not require any audio playback and do not have sound files attached.
Composing physically silent video pieces which conjure non-cochlear sound was not my original intention. My initial research premise was focussed towards the composition of video scores to facilitate live audiovisual performances through prepared improvisation. After attempting to realise my original intention I discovered several issues which prompted me to shift the project away from scores towards the composition of video pieces. Although the shift produced some considerable obstacles it was ultimately a conduit to previously unfamiliar and provocative artistic approaches and concerns. Throughout the project I actively engaged with a process of following, doing or ‘going along’ (Ingold, 2013, p.1) by exploring and steering into the challenges of and for materials, concepts and pieces (Ingold, 2010) because ‘art is a crucial, dangerous operation we perform on ourselves. Unless we take a chance, we die in art.’ (Feldman, 1985, p. 52).
The main research interests of the portfolio were:
• Issues of authorship and ownership: composing video scores using found footage to facilitate live audiovisual performances through prepared improvisation
• Degrees of openness through video scores and subsequent performance
• The temporal qualities of sound and video
• Approaching video art theory and the aesthetics of dancefilm as a composer
• Using video to explore non-cochlear sound
• Cross-modal perception
and video composition
An underlying interest in exploring the notions of hard work and dedication in wrestling with the limitations of the physical body and the human condition, specifically aligned with musical and artistic performance (Arendt, 1998).
The website (http://www.musicalmrfox.co.uk/thesis
) contains many of the scraps, doodles, drafts, dead-ends, hair-raising realisations and completed outputs from a year’s worth of investigation into how I (a musician, composer, performer, tutor and intrigued human being) have approached video in creative ways.