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Weale, Rob

Discovering How Accessible Electroacoustic Music Can Be: the Intention/Reception project

2006

Organised Sound: Vol. 11, No. 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 189-200.

The Intention/Reception (I/R) project concerns an investigation of the relationship between composer intention and listener response in electroacoustic (E/A) compositions. Phase one of the project focuses on E/A compositions that contain or are perceived to contain real-world sound references (RWE/A). The methodology involves introducing works that are unknown to the listening subjects and then evaluating their listening experience. Through repeated listening and the introduction of the composers’ articulation of intent (through a work’s title, inspiration, elements that the composer intends to be communicated, eventually elements of the compositional process itself – in short, the ‘dramaturgy’ of the work) listening responses are monitored. The purpose here is to investigate to what extent familiarity contributes to access and appreciation and to what extent intention and reception are meeting in this particular corpus of E/A art music. This paper offers an introduction to the I/R project outlining its background, its context and presenting pertinent points concerning the design and operation of its methodology. Following this, some of the key results discovered thus far, including the first presentation of test data that formed the basis of the conclusions of a recently completed doctoral thesis, will be shared.

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Wednesday 29 November 2006, by Rob Weale