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Accepted Paper:

How to interpret the sounds of sorrow? Chasing the affect and emotion on archival sound recordings.  
Viliina Silvonen (University of Eastern Finland)

Paper short abstract:

This paper treats the analysis of affects and emotions on archival recordings. How can a researcher reach the performer's emotional state by listening? As a folklorist, I approach the topic from socio-cultural and neurological aspects with examples of my research material: Karelian lament poetry.

Paper long abstract:

Karelian laments—traditional ritual wailing poetry—are expressions of personal and collective grief and sorrow. In general, laments convey emotions verbally, musically, and by multimodal affect displays, as several researches have shown. I am interested in the interaction of a lament and a lamenter from the aspect of emotions: how the performer's emotions and changes in the emotional state influence the performance, and, in contrast, how the lament and performing it influence the performer's affective experiences and emotional state. To add some challenge, my research material comprises of archived audio recordings from fieldwork interviews made during few decades in the mid-20th century. However, with this challenge comes many intriguing questions.

The embodiments of emotions are various and they can appear as direct, involuntary reactions or consciously produced, "mimic" displays. These different modes of affect displays—natural and artificial—are in the focus of this paper. Additionally, I discuss the changes in the emotional state and the expression, as well as the matters that causes these changes. How can a researcher hear the nuances and changes of performer's emotional state by listening the tapes? Is the difference of display of heartfelt and artificial emotions audible? Can the interpretations be reliable?

I contemplate the methods and possibilities to answer these questions combining perspectives of cultural, social and neurological studies. All these different fields are essential for emotion research; the bodily experience and mental and physical reactions have basis on biology and psychology, but the interpretations of these reactions are socio-cultural.

Panel Body06
Body, affect, senses and emotion: fields and perspectives [SIEF Working Group on Body, Affects, Senses, and Emotions (BASE)]
  Session 1 Tuesday 16 April, 2019, -