Outline + Intro - Module 503
Understanding the way in which memories are created, mutated, and retained has far-reaching implications in the creation of Between the Song and the Silence.:
- Overview of memory
- How can involuntary memories be constructed?
- In the layering and reinforcement of theses memories, is it possible to elicit true feelings of loss for something not previously experienced?
- How can these elements be practically introduced into the creation and performance of Between the Song and the Silence?
- In the creation of a narrative for the work, care should be taken for the visual and sonic aspects to be presented in an order and manner so as to reinforce the episodic memory both for the audience and for the performers
- Due to the effects of visual and sonic overshadowing, and the inevitable use of mnemonics of bird calls presentation order of materials is important
- How can the graphic notation be utilized as a tool to reinforce sonic memory?
- Overview of vocal learning
- How can vocal learning be used as a tool in creating a combined narrative?
- Defining the narrative in the context of memorialization
Is it possible to instill feelings of loss through memorialisation of something that we have no prior attachment to? To cultivate this sense of attachment, and therefore its loss?
Memory researchers have defined memory as a “lasting internal representation of a past event or experience” that is echoed in thought or behaviour (Miller, 2007). Historically it was thought that memory played a part in predicting the future: if you could remember where you were able to previously find food, then you could plan to return to the site and reasonably expect to find food again. The value of memory in an evolutionary sense was not that it conserved memories of events or behaviours, but that it was predictive and could be used to construct potential futures.
Memories may also be influenced by our genetics and our environments, bringing to mind Jacques Derrida’s contention that the past can continue to haunt the present.
It has also been demonstrated that memories are mutable. It is possible to create or alter memories, and reinforce these false narratives such that when they are recalled they are fully believed by the person recalling the false event (Hassabis, Kumaran & Maguire, 2007; Hatano et al., 2015; Loftus, 2012) This happens naturally from the time we are children(Principe & Schindewolf, 2012). Simply recall any family gathering where a relative will insist that you did something exquisitely embarrassing when, in fact, it was your sibling.
In creating a performance which uses the calls of birds which are no longer or rarely heard in nature – the evocation of the past- is it possible to construct the possible future wherein lies either the song of others or silence?
Could one construct such involuntary memories? Could it be possible to elicit a true feeling of loss for something one had never known? In the narrative of my two “feathered poets”, can the poignancy of their conversational birdcalls evoke such loss?
Hassabis, D., Kumaran, D. & Maguire, E. (2007) 'Using imagination to understand the neural basis of episodic memory'. Journal Of Neuroscience, 27 (52). pp 14365-14374.
Hatano, A., Ueno, T., Kitagami, S. & Kawaguchi, J. (2015) 'Why Verbalization of Non-Verbal Memory Reduces Recognition Accuracy: A Computational Approach to Verbal Overshadowing'. PLoS ONE, 10 (6). pp e0127618.
Loftus, E. (2012) 'Manufacturing memories'. International Journal Of Psychology, 47 pp 138-138.
Miller, G. (2007) 'A surprising connection between memory imagination.(NEUROBIOLOGY)'. Science, 315 (5810). pp 312.
Principe, G. F. & Schindewolf, E. (2012) 'Natural conversations as a source of false memories in children: Implications for the testimony of young witnesses'. Developmental Review, 32 (3). pp 205-223.