Extra Credit: Sound and Science Symposium (2)/Jasmine Huynh

In addition to Erlmann’s lecture, I also went to another lecture at the Sound and Science Symposium called “Sound, Consciousness, and Culture: Exploring Music and Technology through Seminotics and Ethnographic Study.” This lecture was given by Rene Lysloff and Paulo Chagas, both from the University of California, Riverside Department of Music. From the title of this lecture, I thought it would be very interesting because it sounded like the presenters would be speaking about how music has a social and cultural impact.

They started out the lecture by defining a couple of key terms. First, they introduced the idea of “spectrumsimiotics” which is the approach to sound and music through consciousness and perception. It could be in the form of memory, emotion, experience or cultural interactions. They really stressted the idea of sound and perception correlation: one can see the data and spectrum of sound. It is a paradox, but I personally feel that it is very true. Very often, I feel that I can visualize a certain memory because I hear a sound that provokes it. Next, they launched into the discussion of Husserl’s phemomonology, which involves studies about the structures that constitute the consciousness of internal time. It considers the temporal features to be the most basic constitutional features and helps to relate sound perception to time perception. Sound consciousness is related to time consciousness. Then, another phenomenology, called “Varelas’ neurophenomenology” discussed the relationship between neural sactivity and embodied agents. Consciousness is an inactive experience that involves embodiment and self-organization. Time presents itself as having a complex texture. The lecturers also mentioned that their current research focuses on sound perception and consciousness, specifically on the levels and scales of temporality, modes of temporal appearance and triple intentionality.

I thought these discussion points for the lecture were extremely interesting. It helped to get me to think in a different way, especially when they discussed how time, the mind and sound are related. I think this particular was most related to Professor Vesna’s lecture on “Memory and Consciousness.” This lecture at the Sound and Science Symposium really pushed me to ask myself “What exactly is consciousness?” How do we exactly know that we are even conscious at a given time? I enjoyed this lecture because I thought that the topic was not only interesting, but also that the lecturers gave a well-thought-out presentation and presented it a clear and effective manner.

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