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PhD Defence

Imagined Voices: A Poetics of Music-Text-Film

Thursday 21 December 2017
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden

Imagined Voices: A Poetics of Music-Text-Film

Imagined Voices deals with a form of composition, music with on-screen text, in which the dynamic between sound, words and visuals is explored. The research presents the ideas around so-called 'music-text-films', and attempts to explain how meaning is constructed in the interplay between different layers of media.

Issues that initially arose out of the research, were directly related to the question of 'voice': Who is narrating? And where is the voice located? These questions became more pertinent after noticing a phenomenon occurring during performances of these works: that when we read text synchronised to music, we become very aware of an inner voice silently reading along. This had many consequences for the ways in which ideas about listening and the role of multimedia could function within music.

In the creative work of the research, that has resulted in over thirty works of 'music-text-film' the media are set up to highlight ways of listening that puts emphasis on the role of the listener/spectator. A state of limbo is created between the narrative voice of the text and the implied voice of the music, due to the absence of a conventional focal point - an actor or a singer.

The thesis suggests that because of this vacancy and the way the projected word takes the place of the sung or spoken voice, the inner voice of the audience becomes activated. This then becomes a vital immersive dimension in the performance, as the voice of the spectator finds its way into the music.


  • Prof. F.C de Ruiter


PhD defences are free; you do not have to register.

PhD dissertations

PhD dissertations by Leiden PhD students are available digitally after the defence through the Leiden Repository, that offers free access to these PhD dissertations. Please note that in some cases a dissertation may be under embargo temporarily and access to its full-text version will only be granted later.

Press contact

Inès van Arkel, Scientific Communications Adviser, Leiden University
+31 71 527 3282

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