Conference Paper

Drone. From the Sense of Possibility to the Loss of Sense(s) - Variations of Aesthetic Experience in the Presence of Sonic Materiality

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Abstract and Figures

The Haxan Cloaks’ Drone Music evokes an intense physical experience of sonic materiality which goes beyond the vibration through a bass line. The body resonates differentiating in-depth. Listeners speak of cathartic feelings through that music, a voluntary self-abandonment, and sense new ways of expression. But others experience a horrifying absorption, a loss of sense(s) within the dominance of sound. This thesis explores the artwork-inherent and bodily-subjective conditions – the perception modes, aesthetic proportions, musical parameters, physiological and acoustical effects – that lead to such drastic and differing experiences. Sound is the material of our real and bodily relation to space, time and other bodies as well as to our own figure. Its intense quantities (Will Schrimshaw) can make us listen ‘on the edge’ of our perception, stretching our auditory and tactile threshold. The Haxan Cloaks’ music rearranges our bodily relations by composing formerly unheard sonic quantities. Embodying these alien sonic gravitations also the relation of the mind and body gets transformed, augmented and eventually parted from itself, from how it sensed itself before and reached rational meaning. Listeners can be driven into a negative mimicry (Christian Grüny), a loss of sense and self-perception within the massive materiality of sound.
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