Synaesthetic resonances in the intermedial soundtrack of Imitating the Dog’s Tales from the Bar of Lost Souls

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


As with most hybrid performances the experience of spectating Imitating the Dog’s Tales from the Bar of Lost Souls (reworked to become 6 Degrees Below the Horizon) is a multifaceted one. Part cinema, part theatre and musical this intermedial melodrama employed strategies which addressed a myriad of sensorial experiences. On a formal level the piece can be said to explore how cinematic culture affects our perceptions of storytelling, by staging a 'decomposition’ of what could be defined as an Eisensteinian cinematic metaphor. This theatrical deconstruction and de-stratification of cinematic aesthetics
offers possibilities of reading the piece and its cinematic connotations as a an ‘open text’. My focus will be on approaching the intermedial parataxis of this piece in relation to its synesthetic qualities. Synesthesia is often associated with the blending of the senses, harmony and aesthetic cohesion. In mainstream culture, such as cinema, computer games, rock concerts etc. the use of aesthetic superstructures (strata) which act on many sensory levels is often associated with notions of creating ‘immersiveness’, ‘illusionism’ and by extension passive spectatorship. Thus the paper will look at the deconstruction of synaesthetic experiences and synaesthesia as a phenomena of de-stratification, focusing in particular on the role of the soundtrack in this deconstruction.

The paper will use a neuro-scientific framework, namely the theories of V.S. Ramachandran and E.M. Hubbard in conjunction with the Stephen Palmer’s notion of ‘structural isomorphism’ as applied to aesthetic experience in order to explore how the soundtrack with its mix of aesthetics, genres and registers triggered a variety of potential perceptions of the staged cinematic phenomena becoming what Lyotard has termed a ‘composite of decompositions’. It will look at the synesthetic qualities of the soundtrack in the context of: mediaphorisation, the automatisation of music and the deferral of meaning in scenic construction.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2014
EventFIRT-IFTR World Congress - University of Warwick, Warwick, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Duration: 28 Jul 201401 Aug 2014


ConferenceFIRT-IFTR World Congress
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Period28 Jul 201401 Aug 2014


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