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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'.

Available Files

  • point_of_audition.pdf

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Improvisation is, simply put, being and living this very moment. No one can hide in music, and improvising in music is to be truly in this very moment and being completely yourself, with all your qualities and faults. It is probably the most honest state for a human being to be in.

– John McLaughlin in an interview with Daniel Fischlin.