Maximum volume yields maximum results: loudness as a compositional device in extreme contemporary music
AuthorSmith, Louis Virgil
AffiliationSchool of Contemporary Music
Document TypeHonours thesis
Access StatusOnly available to University of Melbourne staff and students, login required
© 2020 Louis Virgil Smith
This paper seeks to explore the ways in which loudness is used as a compositional device throughout three different performances by artists Sunn O))), Merzbow and Cat Hope. Section one discusses the concept of loudness as both an acoustic phenomenon, that enhances affective experiences, and as a cultural signifier, in which affirms scene identities that base their music on the use of loudness. This section also examines the literature on the use of loudness in extreme contemporary music in particular. Section two consists of case studies which analyse recordings of recent live performances from Sunn O))), Merzbow and Cat Hope. These analyses via spectrographs discuss the compositional framework of the performances, the performance techniques used, and the technical production of the sound, in relation to the use of extreme volume.
KeywordsLoudness; Extreme Contemporary Music; Spectrographs; Merzbow; Sunn O))); Cat Hope.
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