Acoustic Materiality and Immateriality

Date: Wednesday 3 April 2019

The Sound, Voice, and Music Working Group of TaPRA will host an interim event at the University of Oxford on April 3 in the Denis Arnold Hall, Faculty of Music, from 11:30 to 4:30. The central theme of this event will be ‘acoustic materiality and immateriality’. ‘Acoustic materiality’ refers to the physical activities and objects involved in sound-making. ‘Acoustic immateriality’ refers to ideas about sound, voice, and music, i.e., their existence as abstractions. What is the relationship between acoustic materiality and immateriality? The word ‘immateriality’ can also mean ‘irrelevance’. How and why have sound, voice, and music been considered relevant or irrelevant?

Dr. Salomé Voegelin, Professor in Sound at the London College of Communication, UAL, will give a keynote lecture entitled ‘A Voice that Speaks in Raptures: Performing Language’s Formless Self,’ offering a point of departure for further discussion (see the abstract below). A panel of invited postgraduate researchers will give short responses to Dr. Voegelin’s recently published book The Political Possibility of Sound: Fragments of Listening (Bloomsbury, 2018) and provoke further engagement with the topic of materiality/immateriality. Dr. Kevin Logan, a cross-disciplinary artist/researcher/teacher, will give a ‘performance talk’ partially inspired by Dr. Voegelin’s book. Dr. Logan’s work foregrounds sonic practice using a speculative blending of writing, performance, moving-image, and installation. The day will culminate with exchange between attendees on concepts, methodologies and practices of acoustic materiality across music, voice and sound studies—both as a reflection on the day and as an opportunity to establish dialogues and disciplinary bridges among the working group’s members.

This is a one-day event, with tea/coffee and sandwiches included. All participants must be TaPRA members. If you are not currently a member, you will be asked to join the organization at the interim rate of £15 before the date of the event.

TaPRA is providing two £50 travel bursaries to facilitate postgraduate and non-affiliated artists/researchers to attend this event.  The event organizers will award these bursaries based on:

  • the quality of the proposal
  • the extent to which the applicant will benefit from attending
  • the financial need that might otherwise impede participation

If you would like to be considered for a bursary, please email the event organisers (Leah Broad, Adrian Curtin, and Konstantinos Thomaidis) at, briefly outlining how you would benefit from attending and testifying to your financial need that might otherwise impede your participation.

Please register for this event here:

We hope you can join us for this event!



  11:30-11:45: Welcome & introductions

11:45-12:45: Keynote by Dr. Salomé Voegelin, ‘A Voice that Speaks in Raptures: Performing Language’s Formless Self’

12:45-1:45:  Lunch

1:45-2:45: PGR panel of invited respondents: Sophia Edlund (Exeter), Jacob Downs (Southampton) and Edward Spencer (Oxford)

2:45-3:45: Performance talk by Dr. Kevin Logan: Score for Chanting (x3) Redux

3:45-4:30: General discussion


Keynote Abstract

A Voice that Speaks in Raptures: Performing language’s formless self

This talk performs essayistic instructions. It reads, sings and plays an essay-score: an arrangement of awkward grammar and speculative words that seek to grasp sound on its own terms and trigger its performance in a creative tension from which the possibility of impossibility can emerge. The essay has the potential to reveal and undermine authoritarian discourse and the ability to write the formless and the incomplete; the score has the emancipatory force to engage in the unperformance of the expected as an affirmative doing of different instructions towards the production of the unthinkable and the unthought. Thus together they revocalise definitions and truths and tear the textures of the known to assert a different voice: a voice that speaks in raptures and exhilarations to perform language’s formless self. This self is not framed in referential thinking and the practices of a signifying system, but sounds as evanescent inarticulation the imagination rather than the necessity of the real.

Salomé Voegelin is an artist and writer engaged in engaged in listening as a socio-political practice of music, sound, art and the everyday. Her practice includes gallery exhibitions, site-specific work, participatory and collective activities, as well as performances and publications. Her latest book ‘The Political Possibility of Sound: Fragments of Listening’ was published by Bloomsbury in 2018. Voegelin is a Professor in Sound at the London College of Communication, UAL.

Performance Talk Abstract

    Score for Chanting (x3) Redux

A speculative blending of performance, theory and audience engagement, designed to examine sonic materiality via my practice-led research which posits a shared ontology between the sonic and the performative. This will include some sort of playful and conceptual repurposing of object-oriented philosophies such as speculative realism and new materialism(s).

Kevin Logan is a cross-disciplinary artist/researcher/teacher based in London, he has been making and exhibiting since 1990. His work foregrounds sonic practice using a speculative blending of writing, performance, moving-image, and installation. He has performed internationally, has had sound works included on compilation CDs and radio/web broadcasts, and audio-visual works screened in festivals worldwide. He has also had theoretical and experimental texts published in print and online. Having completed a PhD in 2018, Kevin’s current research focuses on the possibilities of contingent and innovative pedagogy within sound arts. He is a founder member of the collective thickear formed in London in 2012. This collaborative work engages with concepts of exchange and public transaction through combinations of sound, installation, participation and performance. thickear have presented provocations and staged symposia internationally.


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