Resonant Sonic Specificity

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Rome, Rachel Devorah Wood, Music - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Burtner, Christopher Matthew, Department of Music, University of Virginia

Where listening is gendered as feminine, sound and silence enforce social power differentials. Spaces where women can be heard, sometimes even by themselves, are precious few.

This dissertation is a practice-led inquiry into context-specific sonic artworks that create spaces where women can be heard and differentials of social power can be revealed. Works that serve as reflective affirmation/amplification for the marginalized subjectivity of the artist (and their proxies) are described as resonant.

After situating the artist/author’s practice in feminist theory and art epistemologies, she elucidates her original use of context-specific sonification (presenting a data set for conceptualization through sound – the aural equivalent of visualization) as a compositional technique to advance social justice discourse by critiquing her works 'Overmorrow' (2014-2015) and 'Revontulet' (2016-2017).

'Overmorrow' is a sonification of American gun violence data for percussion duo and video projection performance.

'Revontulet' is a sonification of aurora data – both quantitative and qualitative – realized as a video, sculpture, and 6-channel audio installation made with SuperCollider.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
sonification, feminism, social ontology, electronic music, context specificity, site specificity, Aurora Borealis, American gun violence, sonic art
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