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Lecture 8

MUS240H1 Lecture 8: Muzak

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Alia O' Brien

MUS240 Lecture 8 Sound, music and social control: urban environment • heavy sound was used as a weapon deterring the neighbourhood who the owner thought the people have a criminal potential o prevent these people from loitering at convenience stores • Muzak o a brand of music that is currently owned by Mood Media o metonymic association with “background” or “elevator” music ▪ initially for elevators but became commercial, for spaces and elevators ▪ manipulate human behaviour o when light music becomes heavy music ▪ violent, dangerous and potentially dangerous ▪ shows that light music is quite heavy o used in particular commercial spaces and spaces of work to improve productivity ▪ factory, store, shops, hotels ▪ sounds helps shapes spaces and which sound behave in these spaces ▪ experienced by people o used in an aural architectural manner • Sound as architecture – Johnathan Sterne o late capitalist as the mall of America ▪ mass commercial and entertainment complex ▪ a tourist attraction ▪ had state of the art built in speaker systems, with carefully selected program o Sterne suggest music is an integral part of the mall architecture o used by planners to organize the space and to organize the people that inhabited that space o making some spaces more welcoming than others o saw music as an energetic substance o ideology that governs this space o background music was a way to execute sonic architecture o architecture = way of organizing space ▪ sound as a way of architecture because it’s often used as organizing and influencing in those spaces o considers space to be socially-produced ▪ social space is defined by its influx of constant energy ▪ not just the building, but how the building is being used o every space has a sound o spacious triad to describe how to conceive space: how space is planned out ▪ designers mapping a building to a person who’s moving into a new apartment and trying to figure out what to put into that space o how we perceiving space with our senses ▪ when we inhabit a space ▪ sound, scent, temperature ▪ how space is used o Space as not just physical but also social Case Study #1: Rio De Janeiro’s Favelas and Sonorous politics • Brazil’s favelas • typically-low income neighbourhood o ghettos, shantytowns • underfunded/overlooked social services o densely inhabited neighbourhoods that provides a large work force that don’t make a lot of money, but helps the city function • exploited and oppressed by city administrations • racialized policing • places where lives are lived • “Ghettoization”/Discriminatory eviction (often happens in conjunction with “urban renewal”/gentrification) o slowly burning addiction process o ghetto = Jewish optics within European cities separated from surrounding areas but economic institutions plays a great role in the life of the greater city ▪ highly exploitive and problematic o major public policy shifts o ghetto = in Chicago described the African-Americans lived over the number of decades that became problematic ▪ isolated their neighbourhood ▪ discriminatory real estate practices o seen in the favelas • isolation and self-isolation o In a city who is allowed to be audible, make noise o urban segregation • the architectural space degradation • What if sound is a weapon and it targets the affective system in the city’s population o scenario of bad vibes • Unpleasant design/hostile architecture o Gordon Savicic and Selena Savic, co-editors o Unpleasant designs “share a common goal of exerting some kind of social control in public or in publicly-accessibly private spaces (malls). They are intended to target, frustrate and deter people, those who fall within unwanted demographics” ▪ becomes tangible tools for the violent (behavioural) ▪ violent re-ordering of the city demographics in sanitation, urbanization projects ▪ e.g., playing classical music outside convenience store to get rid of the young and the homeless (pushing out undesirable people from one space to another) o favelas are virtually walled-in • The variegated sounds of Rio o D
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