Hearing Landscape Critically: Music, Place, and the Spaces of Sound

University of Stellenbosch (South Africa), September, 9-11, 2013

‘We live in densely storiated landscapes […there are] song-lines, if you will, joining place to place.’ (Robert Macfarlane)

Landscapes are divided and dissonant sites of private and collective being. They bear traces of present, past and future ambitions, injustices, and interventions. And yet, their grammars and sounds, whether intimate, commodified or instrumentalised, push at the limits of theory and representation and simultaneously construct systems of aesthetic, ideological, historical and political appropriation.

The second meeting of the ‘Hearing Landscape Critically’ network (Stellenbosch University 9-11 September 2013) is concerned with finding ways to articulate and listen to landscape that challenge established patterns of cognition and intervention, and which probe the archival and everyday silences and ruptures exacerbated by social, political and intellectual intervention. Following the first meeting at Oxford University, May 2012, the Stellenbosch symposium marks the continuation of an inter-disciplinary and inter-continental project addressing the intersections and cross-articulations of landscape, music, and the spaces of sound. Whilst this symposium aims to bring together a wide-ranging set of subjects and disciplinary approaches, contributions concerned with the unique dynamics of music and sound in (South) African landscapes are especially welcome.

The following themes are envisaged as central concerns:

Spaces and sounds of power and politics: interpreting reservation, academy, capital, legitimation;
Spaces and sounds of contestation: how landscapes suture and structure struggles of class, nationality, education, and race;
Philosophical approaches to the spaces of sound: transcendental metaphors, the nature/culture debate, ontologies and epistemologies, non-representational theories of musical and social space;
Spaces and sounds of transformation/devastation: ‘junk space’, inter-state freeways, sprawling suburbs, shopping malls, non-places;
Landscape as utopia, dystopia or heterotopia;
Urban landscapes, or landscapes that confound simple urban/rural divides.

Keynote speakers:
Prof. Richard Taruskin (Department of Music, University of California, Berkeley)
Prof. Cherryl Walker (Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Stellenbosch University)

Further information will be made available at the website:http://musiclandscapeconference.wordpress.com