Can you hear me? Analysing the recurring sonic and musical gestures in David Bowie’s recorded works

Kardos, Leah (2015) Can you hear me? Analysing the recurring sonic and musical gestures in David Bowie’s recorded works. In: The Stardom and Celebrity of David Bowie; 17-18 Jul 2015, Melbourne, Australia. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

My paper focuses on David Bowie as a composer, songwriter and producer and analyses his back catalogue for evidence of a personally developed sonic/musical vernacular, based in selfreference/quotation. In The Next Day (2013) we find numerous sonic and lyrical references to his own canon: from recalling Berlin in ‘Where Are We Now?’ to the unique spectral profile of the title track’s snare echoing the drum sound from Low (1977). It also features rising vocal inflections reminiscent of ‘Scream Like a Baby’ (1980), an effect even more present and pronounced in ‘If You Can See Me’ (2013). The direct quotation of the ‘Five Years’ (1972) drum pattern at the end of ‘You Feel So Lonely You Could Die’ (2013) is deliberate and meaningful, while a strange coda in ‘How Does The Grass Grow?’ (2013) is sonically reminiscent of ‘Boys Keep Swinging’ (1979). The connections continue to reveal themselves the closer you listen, but what does it all mean? Are they accidental, constructed by the listener’s imagination, or are they deliberate, communicative gestures?

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Event Title: The Stardom and Celebrity of David Bowie
Organising Body: Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Research Area: Music
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Performance and Screen Studies
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Depositing User: Leah Kardos
Date Deposited: 17 May 2016 16:00
Last Modified: 23 Dec 2016 14:32
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/34641

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