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Schizophonic tendencies: subjectivity and sound

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This Diffractions’ discussion revisited the concept of schizophonia, introduced by R. Murray Schafer in the late 60s.

Schizophonia was explored in the context of the theories of Bateson and Deleuze with emphasis on the acoustic aspect and an evolutionary point of view. From the moment you perceive a sound, perhaps it’s not even you, nor even the sound. This discussion helped laying a framework for the use and understanding of schizophonic techniques in musical experimentation.

Music is sounds, sounds around us whether we’re in or out of concert halls; cf. Thoreau

– John Cage, cited in Schafer 1969

When the individual is involved in an intense relationship; that is, a relationship in which he feels it is vitally important that he discriminate accurately what sort of message is being communicated so that he may respond appropriately

– “double bind” Bateson 1956

Cut-ups on the tape recorder can be used as a weapon […] the control of the mass media depends on laying down lines of association. When the lines are cut the associational connections are broken, so stir in new stories, TV plays, stock market quotations, adverts and put the altered mutter line out in the streets

– William S. Burroughs, cited in Lopez 2012

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Schizophonic tendencies
Images : “The magic lantern” – Athanasius Kircher (
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