Deferred musical homecomings

Gritten, Anthony (2015) Deferred musical homecomings. Contemporary Music Review, 34 (1). pp. 67-83. ISSN 0749-4467


I imagine what it means to talk about ‘the home of listening’. I analyse this phrase as denoting something about the functioning of listening within the transcendental constitution of the auditory subject, where the preposition ‘within’ denotes the presence of a home ‘within’ which the auditory subject can be found, and insofar as the phrase denotes a property of listening along the grammatical lines of the phrase ‘the colour of paint’. I imagine home obliquely, set in motion by several of Lyotard's essays on place, and Szendy's archaeology of contemporary listening practices. Describing how listening regimes regulate the rhythmic constitution of the auditory subject, I work towards the conclusion that there is nevertheless an existential failure built into listening with respect to its desire to return home: listening lags behind the sound that decays before listening. The essay concludes by describing this spiral double bind.

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