You sound like a broken record: a practice led interrogation of the ontological resonances of vinyl record culture

Nataraj, Paul G (2018) You sound like a broken record: a practice led interrogation of the ontological resonances of vinyl record culture. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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This work offers a sustained critical reflection an original practice-­‐based exploration of the vinyl record called ‘You Sound Like a Broken Record’. It takes up the following research questions: What can personal narratives associated with vinyl records provide in terms of rethinking this icon of the music industry? It asks where the vinyl record may fit into the fluid and fragmentary narratives of musical listening? How does it interface with the other strands of narrative formation over the time of personal ownership, and can a creative intervention help to unpack this complexity? In doing so it interrogates the role of material props of aiding and managing personal identification through music. The research is located with the field of Sound Studies, and explores these questions in dialogue with the theoretical work of Adorno, Attali, (musical commodification), Barthes (authorship), Dillon (palimpsests), De Certeau, Levi-Strauss (resistance and bricolage), Kelly (cracked media), Deleuze (rhizomatic ontology) and Schloss (the art of sampling). The research is based upon ethnographic interviews with fourteen respondents who each donated one of their most treasured vinyl records. Their stories were next carved onto the surface of each record, creating a palimpsest, thereby producing fourteen unique sonic sculptural works. The final outcome is one vinyl record containing sound pieces that use the 'broken records' and the respondents’ narratives as their sonic material. Through the use of this methodology and its resulting practice, the thesis discusses the fragmentary voices that make up the narratives of their musical memories. In doing so, the thesis demonstrates that the vinyl record is a multivalent, interwoven, productive and fluid object. It critically sheds light on the record as a flexible partner to musical identification. The thesis together with the ‘recordworks’ provides valuable insight into the record as a cultural ‘hobo’ that holds a dialectical position as a symbol of cultural subversion, as a product of the music industry, and as a repository for both music and deeply held personal memory and emotions. In doing so, the work also highlights in an original way, how the record provides an opportunity for everyday resistance to canonical narratives and linear formations of musical listening and making practices.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Arts and Humanities > Media and Film
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general > NX0180.A-Z The arts in relation to other subjects, A-Z > NX 0180.P48 Phonorecords
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2018 08:11
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 15:48

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