“Listening to the West” – an investigation into the negotiations of a sonic nimbus
Stipendiat ved Institutt for musikkvitenskap (IMV)
The focus of the research project is to investigate how representatives from the Russian economic elite actively use pop music as part of a strategy to accumulate cultural capital, and how performers, producers and songwriters from the West are invited in to help these Russians in their construction of a Western acoustic identity. More specifically, the study aims to describe this “sound of the West”, and then further explore how it becomes subject to continuous negotiation in the space of social interaction between these various agents.
Theoretically, I will apply a combination of phenomenology and practice theory, linking issues of space, perception and embodiment to the politics and value of sound. A specific emphasis is placed on how sound plays an important role in our understanding of and relation to the world around us, with a particular reference to Steven Feld’s concept of “acoustemology”. The project’s placement within practice theory is mainly related to Alfred Gell’s model of the art nexus, which offers the opportunity to explore the flow and interaction between the various forces that influence the processes involved in the production and consumption of art. In the way his model embraces the work and its motif, the listener and the performer, I see a potential to examine sound both as concrete acoustic contexts or surroundings, e.g. what we hear, and in terms of how the meaning and value of sound is produced, offered and negotiated.
The project is an anthropological study, based on participant observation and fieldwork. The fieldwork is multisited, focusing on a selection of recording studios, production companies and relevant social arenas in St Petersburg, Moscow and Stockholm.
Publisert 30. sep. 2009 14:19 - Sist endret 3. jun. 2010 14:59