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    The Macropolitics of Microsound: Gender and sexual identities in Barry Truax’s "Song of Songs".

    Sofer, Danielle (2017) The Macropolitics of Microsound: Gender and sexual identities in Barry Truax’s "Song of Songs". Cambridge Core, 23. pp. 80-90.

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    This analysis explores how Barry Truax’s Song of Songs (1992) for oboe d’amore, English horn and two digital soundtracks reorients prevailing norms of sexuality by playing with musical associations and aural conventions of how gender sounds. The work sets the erotic dialogue between King Solomon and Shulamite from the biblical Song of Solomon text. On the soundtracks we hear a Christian monk’s song, environmental sounds (birds, cicadas and bells), and two speakers who recite the biblical text in its entirety preserving the gendered pronouns of the original. By attending to established gender norms, Truax confirms the identity of each speaker, such that the speakers seemingly address one another as a duet, but the woman also addresses a female lover and the man a male. These gender categories are then progressively blurred with granular time-stretching and harmonisation (which transform the timbre of the voices), techniques that, together, resituate the presumed heteronormative text within a diverse constellation of possible sexual orientations.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is a pre-print of the published article. Published article available at:
    Keywords: macropolitics; microsound; gender; sexual identities; Barry Truax; Truax; Song of Songs;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Music
    Item ID: 9627
    Depositing User: Dr Danielle Sofer
    Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2018 10:05
    Journal or Publication Title: Cambridge Core
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Refereed: Yes
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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