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Point of Audition

Karl Coulthard

Published: 2010-06-15

This article examines the reception of live versus recorded improvised music. There are virtually limitless perspectives from which one can experience a musical performance, and once recorded, reception is further influenced by continually developing electronic and digital modes of aural representation. Instead of privileging merely the most 'faithful' reproduction of an original improvised musical performance, this article suggests a larger aural context. It gives examples of recorded sound being used as a performative tool, and invites readers/listeners to 'actively experiment in mediating and transforming [his or her] auditory environment, in improvising [his or her] point of audition'.

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If people talked the way they drummed in improvisation, then I think the world would be a lot nicer…

– Youth participant, ICASP improvisation workshop