Paper in Oxford Handbook of New Audiovisual Aesthetics

I am very lucky to have been asked to contribute, together with my former supervisor Tia DeNora, a chapter to the book “Oxford Handbook of New Audiovisual Aesthetics” published by Oxford University Press. This is based on data from my research with elderly people in Japan. Thanks a lot to the editors and reviewers for constructive feedback on the ideas we developed. The book is now published, you can obtain it here

Title: Leaving Something to the Imagination: “Seeing” New Places through a Musical Lens

Abstract: In this chapter we suggest that an examination of “seeing through music” highlights the cross-sensory or synaesthetic dimension of perception and identification in naturally occurring settings. Using data from interviews with elderly Japanese people who recall their first encounters with the west and western classical music, we then consider how musically led visualization may be part of how individuals imagine and then orient to phenomena that they may only actually encounter in the future. We suggest that this process of virtual seeing highlights music’s role as a “prosthetic technology”—in this case, a tool for visual enhancement. This enhancement in turn may provide resources for future action, goals and aspirations, in short for “seeing” and acting in and acting upon future events. Finally, to the extent that music enables us to envision the future, we will suggest how musical “visualization” can enable new learning.

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