‘Techno-Intuition’ in Artistic Experimentation in Music

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“Essential reading for anyone interested in artistic research applied to music”,  Artistic Experimentation in Music: An Anthology, Eds. Bob Gilmore and Darla Crispin, Leuven University Press 2014. ‘Techno-Intuition: Experiments with Sound in the Environment’  by Yolande Harris is published as a chapter.

“This book is the first anthology of writings about the emerging subject of artistic experimentation in music. This subject, as part of the cross-disciplinary field of artistic research, cuts across boundaries of the conventional categories of performance practice, music analysis, aesthetics, and music pedagogy. The texts, most of them specially written for this volume, have a common genesis in the explorations of the Orpheus Research Centre in Music (ORCiM) in Ghent, Belgium. The book critically examines experimentation in music of different historical eras. It is essential reading for performers, composers, teachers, and others wanting to inform themselves of the issues and the current debates in the new field of artistic research as applied to music. The publication is accompanied by a CD of music discussed in the text, and by an online resource of video illustrations of specific issues.”

Excerpt from Techno-Intuition, Yolande Harris: The notion of techno-intuition emerged from my artistic research into how one’s relationship to the environment is established and enhanced through sound and listening. With the aid of sonic technologies and awareness-enhancing practices, we can re-experience environments we know and access others beyond our physiological abilities, such as those underwater. Such experiences are mediated both by our technologies and by our interpretations— our techno-intuitions. Rather than consider technology as antithetical to the environment, I blend experiments using technological instruments with bodily experiences of the environment, using sound to provoke a sense of direct involvement. For example, combining both technical and intuitive approaches, I explored sonic navigations and underwater sound, making the inaudible audible through sonification and audification techniques, and drawing the unconscious into consciousness through deep listening practices and psycho- logical therapy using sound. These experiments led me back to considering human scale, and our physiological and emotional relationship to different environments through examples of walking, swimming, and sailing. I noticed that becoming physically involved provokes an attitude of openness to the presence of sound and the environment, even those beyond human scale. Such an embodied approach, driven by the use of sound, physically and emotionally challenges us to expand beyond ourselves.