McCartney, Andra


Alien Intimacies: Hearing science fiction narratives in Hildegard Westerkamp's Cricket Voice (or ‘I don't like the country, the crickets make me nervous')

Organised Sound: Vol. 7, no. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 45-49.


Language(s): English


Soundscape Composition Aural Analysis Narrative Intention and Reception


Soundscape Composition, Narrative, Aural Analysis, Intention/Reception Abstract: This article discusses listener responses to a contemporary soundscape composition based on the sound of a cricket. Soundscape composers make works based on everyday sounds and sound environments, usually recorded by themselves (Truax). While the composer of this piece aims to bring listeners closer to the sounds around them by creating audio pieces based on these sounds (Westerkamp), some listeners feel fear and anxiety rather than the heightened closeness and understanding that she wishes listeners to experience. The author compares the sound structure of Cricket Voice with close listening to excerpts of the film soundtrack of Ridley Scott’s Alien as well as a short excerpt from the soundtrack of the X Files, discussing how science fiction film and television soundtracks index sonic intimacy with different intent from that of Westerkamp, and raising questions about how such approaches to intimacy might simultaneously reflect and intensify urban anxieties about the sounds of ‘alien’ species that are associated with wilderness environments.

All references of the same author:


McCartney, Andra (1995a). A Prelude to Ea Gender Issues
McCartney, Andra (1995b). The Ambiguous Relation (1/2)
McCartney, Andra (1995c). Inventing Images: Constructing and Contesting Gender in Thinking about Electroacoustic Music
McCartney, Andra (1996). The Ambiguous Relation (2/2)
McCartney, Andra (1998a). Soundwalk in the Park with Hildegard Westerkamp
McCartney, Andra (1998b). Where water meets
McCartney, Andra (2000a). Soundwalking Interactions
McCartney, Andra (2000b). Hildegard Westerkamp's Moments of Laughter: Recording Childhood, Performing Motherhood, Refusing to Shup Up, and Laughing
McCartney, Andra (2000c). Soundscape Composition and the Subversion of Electroacoustic Norms
McCartney, Andra (2000d). Sounding Places with Hildegard Westerkamp
McCartney, Andra (2002b). Sharing Experiences Towards the Possibility of an Electroacoustic Ecology
McCartney, Andra (2003). In and Out of the Sound Studio


McCartney, Andra (1995a). Un prélude aux problématiques en éa
McCartney, Andra (1995b). Le Rapport Ambigu (1/2)
McCartney, Andra (1996). Le Rapport Inconnu
McCartney, Andra (1998b). Où l'eau rencontre