chapter  6
18 Pages

Chaotic mappings: On the ground with music

ByJUDY LOCHHEAD

This chapter explains the ontology of music. Music brings into the fray a complex ontology involving different modes. Computer-assisted music, musical quasi-readymades, and experimental music challenge the centrality of immediate agency. Such a relational approach to ontology follows the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and certain strands of recent philosophical schools of thought such as speculative realism, object-oriented ontology, actor-network theory, and new materialism. A suikinkutsu, a sounding Japanese garden ornament, consists a pot with a hole in the bottom which is then buried upside down in the ground that the hole sits at the top. The sounds emanating from a suikinkutsu present themselves as remarkably, even surprisingly, 'musical', and it is at times possible to believe that one is listening to a melodic line. The suikinkutsu produces sound that is organised or structured, expressive since its only form is its expressed content, irreducible to a secondary function such as representation, conditioned by a material assemblage in the real world.