Accepted paper:

Open Circuit: the experimental sounds of prehistory in the present


Claire Marshall (York)

Paper short abstract:

This abstract details the exploration of context with reconstructed sounds of the past in the present. As an archaeologist and musical performer specialising in experiemental and improvised contingencies of sound, my contribution to this session will take the guise of a multi-sensory performance of visual projections and the exploration of reconstructed instruments which have been inspired by the epistemological dialogues of sensory experience of place.

Paper long abstract:

Working within the ideas of sensory engagements of sound and sound horizons, and what they mean for our understanding of an environmentally immersive experience of sound, acoustical phenomena and emergent novelty of experience, I will seek to explore the fusion of modern sound synthesis and samples from organically constructed instruments that may have been in use during the Neolithic of Britain. My work in exploring the implications of sensory experience and the archaeological environments of the Neolithic of Western Europe has inspired a pilot project to reconstruct and use a number of sounding devices in the present context to underpin an exploration of potential engagements. My aim with this performance is not to attempt a reconstruction of how Neolithic music may have been represented, but rather a reflection of how archaeology attempts to tackle the wider issue and dichotomy of the past context and the present context. This performance will combine both aural and visual elements and will be followed by a short discussion of some of the perceived themes.

panel S37
Artefact to auditorium: aural agendas in the archaeology of prehistoric sound (partly supported by the AHRC ‘Beyond Text’ program)