Writing

Listening to Country: Energy, Time and Ecology in Aboriginal Worldmaking 

Abstract

In this thesis and through my creative practice I argue for a situated listening that draws upon the Aboriginal idea of ‘Listening to Country’ through song practice. It is based upon a model of listening that extends beyond audibility, to sub-audible energies and vibrotactile phenomena and, thus, suggests a more complex and grounded notion of sound, perception and a connection to the environment. It challenges the compartmentalization of the dominant euro-centric sensorium where sound has become something that can be easily quantified, recorded, reproduced, stored and disseminated through technological means and attenuated by digital media practices. Sound and listening is instead situated energetically, perceptually, corporeally, and environmentally, enmeshed with place and culture through practices connecting human to non-human bodies and entities. My creative practice is derived from my experiences and collaborative work with Aboriginal communities in song practices evincing a very deep, connection to ‘Country’ developed through highly trans-sensory attention and activation of place, and iterative through time unimaginable in Western cultures. Based upon these extended modalities I propose a de-colonizing critique of the euro-centric concept of sound and listening that is developed through my creative practice.

Cite: Belletty, Dr. Andrew. 2018. “Listening to Country: Energy, Time and Ecology in Aboriginal Worldmaking.” Sydney, Australia: University of New South Wales.

Read full thesis here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mpoeJtoLOsohnRhytk6UbJqwfKE7XRqQ/view?usp=sharing

Cultural Distortion: Rasa Aesthetics in Indian Cinematic Sound Design

Abstract

The soundtracks to Indian films possess radically different aesthetics to Western films, with those differences stemming from India’s ancient cultural history, religiosity, and diversity. I argue that the unique aesthetics of these soundtracks remains unlikely to change, and that Western filmmakers will ultimately need to understand these aesthetic differences in order to engage with Indian audiences, rather than expecting that this audience will embrace a homogenous Western aesthetic.

Cite: Belletty, Dr. Andrew. 2011. “Cultural Distortion: Rasa Aesthetics in Indian Cinematic Sound Design.” Sydney: Australian Film Television & Radio School.

Read full thesis here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KcYNXvKZM1xM9lsAv-98z8sOoCOSI44e/view?usp=sharing