This year the theme of our Resonant Edge Symposium is directly focused upon the nature of ‘identity’ through a number of investigations situated around manifestations of Hauntology in music and sound. Hauntology – a term coined by Jacques Derrida – is a critical, phenomenological exploration of temporal and ontological disjunction in art – in short how historic, ‘non-being’ ‘non’present’ cultural ‘ghosts’ can alter the perception or reading of a cultural artefact. So, if one composes a Blues song, the question might be to what extent might it consciously or unconsciously be ‘haunted’ by other ‘Blues’ works; if one composes a fugue, to what extent might it it consciously or unconsciously be ‘haunted’ by other Fugal works. Of course if one were to compose a Blues influenced Fugue then the hauntings become potentially even more complex.

This mode of enquiry can also be seen to extend to soundscape composition where the sounds of specific physical locations are captured and, within a compositional structure can be allowed to haunt one another even across the many histories of these locations. To elaborate, let’s think of an imaginary soundscape composition that might explore the being and ‘non-being’ of the changing sound ecology of a local church that surrounded it over the last 50, 100 or 200 years. With careful planning one could capture specific ‘historic’ sounds of a certain vintage (it’s bells … it’s doors … local natural sounds etc.) and then gradually superpose these sounds across history, allowing a potentially fascinating, multiplicitous, palimpsestic sonic juxtaposition to unfold for the listener.

The call for papers and presentations for the symposium is presented as: Conjurations of Hauntology in Music & Sound and has piqued the interest of a number of critical thinkers up and down the UK, who will lead discussions on music and sound across all genres as well as how the hauntological transforms when film is brought into the equation for the audience.

The symposium will take place over four separate sessions. Details of each session’s papers, dates, times and booking information can be found at the relevant links below.

Hauntology Symposium Session 1
Hauntology Symposium Session 2
Hauntology Symposium Session 3
Hauntology Symposium Session 4

Our hope is that there will truly be something for everybody; we know that there will definitely be ample opportunity for everyone to try something a little different. 

The theme of ‘identity’ will run throughout the programming of Resonant Edge this year, exploring notions of identity connected particularly to place, nationality and time.  It will become apparent throughout many of the performances as to how multiple layers of identity can bring about an extraordinary richness to the listening experience.

We look forward to welcoming you to our Resonant Edge Symposium.

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