Forum Artistic Research

Oral Presentation

Listening to a Muslim Diva, Listening to the Master Narrator: Arriving at Singing Through the Spoken Voice

Mersid Ramičević

on  Thu, 10:30in  Neuer Saalfor  30min

Given the broad, thematically interrelated processes that are echoed as they are blended into hearing, I am thinking of listening as a discursive thread. Listening as a methodology of comparative attentiveness to the diva embodied in high art, to the bard’s practices of musical mnemotechnics in the illiterate poetic traditions, and to the field recordings of the sound unearthed in ethnographic research. I am particularly interested in how the study of primary sources reopens artistic inquiry and archive-building of aural evidence in contemporary compositional practice, spanning multiple temporalities, and in many cases merging awareness of (ethno)musicological scholarship with aesthetic notions of modernist production. And to listening as a translatory strategy at the threshold of media shifts, reopening the field for artistic research in the process of creating auditory accounts. Listening as an act of ear-witnessing through the disembodied human agency of the ‘Aufschreibesystem’. The unfolding of haptic space, listening as an absent ‘communic’ assembly. Arriving at singing through the spoken voice. To illustrate my approach, which is at the very beginning of my doctoral project, I will present my research findings from the archival fieldwork comparatively. The basis for the unfolding of the word is a radio interview with the now forgotten Sarajevo-born soprano Bahrija Nuri Hadžić, who sang the title role in the 1937 premiere of Alban Berg’s unfinished opera Lulu. I also draw on visual and textual archive material that may be indexical to the once-aired interview itself. I am working towards re-synthesizing her spoken voice and making it reappear, in line with the digitally transcribed culture and forgetting as a feature of the still scarce qualities of work on sound preservation.

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