Spatio-temporal suspension and imagery in popular music recordings

Peter Gavin Long

Abstract


Constructed spatiality and perceived imagery in popular music recordings has been in evidence since the 1930s as “a fundamentally pictorial tradition (…) reverb and echo effects deployed in combination with certain lyrics to render aural vistas” (Doyle, 2004: 32). Spatiality underwent a transformation in the 1950s with echo and reverberation increasingly employed as timbral and rhythmic enhancement to music. By the 1960s, with advances in recording technologies and the emergence of psychedelic music, sound environments openly challenged notions of spatial reality, providing a perceptual bridge between auditory and visual realms. This practice-led enquiry focuses upon the experience of spatio-temporal suspension in popular music recordings. Through praxical engagement with consumer audio technologies, it aims to define a timeless, suspended aesthetic in music and sound, by drawing on neuroscientific research into dynamic forms of vitality in the time-based arts (Stern, 2010) and demonstrating the multimodal nature of these recordings.

Keywords


interiority; soundscapes; suspension; synesthesia

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References


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