I will be presenting on Laurie Anderson’s pretend intercoms at Stony Brook’s “Technologies of Sound” conference, Feb 13-14, 2015

This year, the Stony Brook Graduate Music Symposium convenes on the theme “Technologies of Sound: Systems, Networks, Modernities,” with a keynote address by Arved Ashby (Ohio State University). At the conference, as per Stony Brook’s call for papers, “technology is conceived as a broad discourse shaping music history and theory, not only in reference to the tools of music making, but also to methods and procedures in the creation and performance of music, the ethics of various music technologies, and effects of technologies on performers and listeners.”

My paper is titled “Laurie Anderson Has Not Been Listening: The Anti-Mediatory Position as a Sound Technology of Power.” I will address Anderson’s creation of vocal characters who speak as if through amplifiers, megaphones, intercoms, and other technologies of acousmatic address. Anderson, I argue, harnesses the intercom’s construction of an involuntary and unheard listenership as a tangible metaphor for the lack of reciprocity of power in society.


Author: lucievagnerova

musicologist at Columbia University