Unleashed Passion between Speech, Gesture, and Sound (315)

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This musicological project investigates a fundamental phonetic area in which musical sounds and speech, supported by visual effects (gestures), merge, thereby serving the manifestation of basic affects.

This musicological project investigates a fundamental phonetic area in which musical sounds and speech, supported by visual effects (gestures), merge, thereby serving the manifestation of basic affects. The images and speech balloons in cartoons represent one such model or projection space for these affects; in the animated cartoon, expressions are audible as well as visible.

The three contrasting samples to be examined are: 1) the affective and for the most part inarticulate “speech” of animals, particularly prominent in animated cartoons; 2) how music portrays the emotional syntax of an animated cartoon family and is itself portrayed in a social-cultural context within the TV series "The Simpsons"; and 3) the juxtaposition of cartoon elements in avant-garde music and their resulting emotional enrichment, as exemplified by the vocal artists Cathy Berberian and David Moss. In all three instances, the analyses are informed by semiotic and semantic principles with respect to music theory.

The goal of the project is to apply the observations gleaned from the rendering of rudimentary expressions of affect in animated cartoon to the condition, rank, and role of emotion in aesthetics, which in turn contribute to a further understanding of the artistic manipulation of affect.

Publications

Riethmüller, A. (2012, Im Druck). Musik im Alltag der Gesellschaft. Drei Augenblicke im Leben der Simpsons. Festschrift Detlef Altenburg. Sinzig: Studio Verlag.

Riethmüller, A. (2011). Musik in Springfield. Vier Vignetten. Hoffmann, F., Gärtner, M., Weisenfeld, A. (Eds.). Musik im sozialen Raum. Festschrift Peter Schleuning zum 70. Geburtstag. München: Buch&Media.