This Wednesday, January 23rd, please join Sound and Society in welcoming:
Writes Yiren, “This essay examines a mechanism that I call the “acousmatic mirror” at play in 17th-century Chinese literary portrayals of kouji (translated as “vocal virtuosity”), an imitative skill. A kouji performance features an invisible performer’s virtuosic use of his/her own voice to animate a wide range of animal, human and environmental sounds that sometimes develop into narratives. By observing how these 17th-century Chinese accounts of kouji enrich the existing discourse on the acousmatic in sound studies, voice studies and media studies (e.g. Michel Chion, Brian Kane, Mladen Dolar), this essay asks: What are the new acoustic and conceptual possibilities that an acousmatic voice embodies?
This essay comes from the first chapter of my dissertation, and it will be submitted to a special issue of the comparative literature/cultural studies journal Parallax. My dissertation examines a couple of strange sounds (including kouji, bird speech and laughter) that resist or distort linguistic forms of expression and communication and reflects on the problem of speech in 17th-century Chinese literature.”
Special thanks to David Wilson (Music) for serving as Yiren’s respondent. Refreshments will be served!
Please do not hesitate to contact Amy Skjerseth (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ailsa Lipscombe (email@example.com) with any questions or concerns. Persons who believe they may require accommodations to participate fully in the event should notify the coordinators in advance.