Listening to the Unsounding Events of Moving Bodies

Exploring strategies for developing expanded sonic sensibility via active listening and imagination through an awareness of our own and others’ body movement.


The fundamental interest of this dissertation is to challenge received notions of listening and to explore and expand the limits of sonic experience: it concerns the unsounding events of bodily movement and their relationship to active listening and to the sonic imagination. The unsounding events of movement are all movements occurring without the musical accompaniment, as well as their implicit sonic elements, such as breath, and the sound of their interaction with external environment. Active listening is defined as an extended listening practice which necessitates an active engagement of the listener and an open-mindedness towards novel concepts of what can be understood as the sonic. Sonic imagination is a phenomenological process of formation of sonic mental images. Through investigating the contemporary notion of listening, I aim to engage with the proprioceptive as well as perceptive facets of the moving body and their relation to sound. I will examine how we experience the sensation of movement within our own bodies as well as how we observe other bodies in movement. The underlying concepts of phenomenology, cognition and cross-modal perception will be considered, along with notions of the tangible body and the intangible mind and their points of connection and departure. I believe that somewhere amidst this dualism of the physical and the mental lies a non-space ready to be formed into a conception of the unsounding sonic event.