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Co-composing an Endarkened Acoustemology: Sonic approaches towards breaking hegemonic hierarchy

Lassiter, E. (2023). Co-composing an Endarkened Acoustemology: Sonic approaches towards breaking hegemonic hierarchy. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


Sonically suspended in familiarity, memory, reflexivity and imagination the interwoven fields and methods of study in sound, listening, and ethnography have laid a vast environment ahead for contemporary composers. One that is rich for new meaning and new material. Further to novelty, I press into this in-between-space to offer a methodology to create work that interrogates structures of hierarchy, and histories of hegemonic practice. In this text, I suggest a path marked and signposted by radical (as in, intentionally against established structure) shifts in thinking around ethnographic art practice that turn away from western, hegemonic and Eurocentric standards of research, consumption, listening, and sounding.

I offer endarkened co-composition as such a methodology, and as an experience and experiment of presence. I present theory-through-practice: collaborative and participatory composition methods that rely on innate forms of Black and Indigenous storytelling as qualitative research methods. In dialogue with reflexive autoethnography, collaborative
practice and storytelling, such a critical and anticolonial listening practice grounds endarkened co-composition as a generative method. An endarkened co-composition methodology considers a version of listening and composing that generates new thought, relationships, and at the furthest extent – new worlds.

The research is presented with a portfolio of five multi-media works under the subtitles endarkened acoustemologies, notation, and performance. This includes: three cocomposed pieces (A Progeny of Perpetual Independence written for Piano, Viola, Cello, Double Bass and Soprano performed live, Three Gold Threads, written for electronics, piano and voice, composed for and presented as a short film, We Invoke the Black. To Rest, written for electronics and voice presented in a collaborative livestream performance) graphic score (More Powerful Than the Sun, and four iterations of interpretations) and photographs taken on 35mm film, digitised.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
M Music and Books on Music > M Music
M Music and Books on Music > MT Musical instruction and study
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Performing Arts > Music
School of Communication & Creativity > School of Communication & Creativity Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses
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