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Contemporary Soundspaces: Acoustemology and Musical Agency (completed)

The primary objective of the project was to produce knowledge about the significance of sound and sound processes by researching ways of "knowing through sound" and agency related to sonic environments, sound production and listening processes.

About the project

The project dealt with the aesthetic and social significance of sounding processes and aim to map out and analyse agency (sound actions) and the discursive values ascribed to these processes. The empirical case studies has focused on three different aspects or spheres of documentation and the relations between them:

A) dissemination and interpretation of sound in relation to nature, culture and the sonic environment

B) musical listening, as a way of "knowing". This includes sound production and interpretation, sonic experience and specific uses of technology

C) social, cultural and aesthetic constructions of discourse. This concerns processes of cultural value; interpretation and naming; genealogical and historical constructions; collective memory and ideology; identity processes and mechanisms of distinction. In the analysis particular attention was paid to the cultural complexities of these uses, including questions of social identification, gender and race.

The project did not take as its point of departure a notion of territorially based identities, rather we expect mediations in sound to operate as complex local - global identifications. Even if most of the fieldwork has been carried out in Norway, the perspective was global rather than national in the sense that the omnipresent changes of the contemporary soundspaces were not expected to stem one-sidedly from a "nation-building" project.


The project was jointly funded by The Research Council of Norway under The Research Programme on Assigning Cultural Values (KULVER) and the University of Oslo.


The project lasted from 2009-2012.

Published Nov. 1, 2020 9:45 AM - Last modified Sep. 30, 2022 8:56 AM