Sonic Awareness, Alienation, and Liberation Through Soundscape Rhythmanalysis
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In the following thesis I investigate aspects of soundscape research and study practices through the gaze of certain methodologies presented in Henri Lefebvre’s Rhythmanalysis. I argue that elements of the practice Lefebvre has coined “rhythmanalysis” may function as useful tools in the study of sound environments. My research attempts to demonstrate that aspects of rhythmanalysis parallel and complement the important soundscape research that R. Murray Schafer and Hildegard Westerkamp have conducted over the past four decades. The thesis brings Lefebvre’s theories of capitalist modes of production into dialogue with Schafer and Westerkamp’s soundscape explorations. I consider how the rhythmanalytical method corresponds to and diverges from soundscape analysis. The thesis draws on both Schafer and Lefebvre to analyze a soundscape environment that I have personally experienced and inhabited. Lastly, I demonstrate the value in considering rhythmanalysis and Westerkamp’s interpretation of soundwalks as a connected discipline.