Ramstedt, Kim (ÅA): DJ Performances and the Ontology of Recorded Music
In the research I am conducting for my doctoral thesis, I am studying the reproduction of recorded music in DJ performances. I am interested in the communicative process of the performance and how it gives new meanings to the reproduced music. By playing sound recordings in a certain order, juxtaposing the songs' musical and lyrical content, a DJ seeks to create a particular dramaturgy for the event. This narrative structure builds on the content of individual recordings, but the performer can, both, create intertextual meanings across selections, and, especially in performances that include live verbal commentary, create a a unique story together with the audience in the performance space.
In a public event that revolves around the reproduction of recorded music, the roles of performer, mediator and consumer are blurred, as the audience participates in the creation of a musical narrative on location. I suggest that the different layers of narrativity in the performance exist in a reflexive relationship to the ontology of the recored music, which my thesis also aims to illuminate. By examining practices from different musical traditions revolving around the reproduction of recorded sound, I will compare the various ways the performance process gives meaning to, and reestablishes values embedded in the recorded music. The thesis will consist of different ethnographic articles on the subject, employing a theoretical framework varying from cultural anthropology and philosophical anthropology to performance and media studies.