Tyler Cassidy-Heacock on “Hyperlistening”

This week we bring you an essay by an author new to the Avid Listener fold: Tyler Cassidy-Heacock. Tyler specializes in contemporary vocal chamber music; for us she has written an essay about “hyperinstruments.” Take a peek:

“A cellist sits on stage. As he plays, the instrument produces music that no typical cello could. That’s because he’s playing a hypercello, a technologically augmented instrument that interprets the movements of the performer so that his bowing and plucking produce both acoustic and electronic sounds. The hypercello is just one of a variety of “expanded musical instruments” that make it possible for skilled players to create even more unique and striking music. Though they are certainly experimental compared with standard musical instruments, the blending of sounds that hyperinstruments accomplish is something we also hear in other contemporary genres, like acoustic chamber music and heavy metal. Hyperinstruments challenge and affect us as listeners, and the sounds they produce are becoming part of our musical norm, perhaps even turning us into hyperlisteners…”

Her essay adds to our on-going discussion about modes of listening  / engaging with music. Teachers and students of contemporary music (and anyone who likes Jimi Hendrix) will want to read this exploration of new instruments and new sounds. Read the full essay here.

We’ve got two more essays for you this month (by Andrew Dell’Antonio and Charles Carson) and then we’ll be going on hiatus to reboot the site. Stay tuned for an exciting fall lineup!

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