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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 24, Issue 4, 2014

Technics, Meditation, Atmospheres, The Main Areas of Gernot Böhme's Philosophy

Gernot Böhme
Pages 54-61

The Voice in Bodily Space

In the paper Gernot Böhme considers the spatial aspects of the perception of sound, especially the human voice, which he sees not as a verbal bearer of meaning but the expression of “the speaker’s atmospheric presence.” The voice lends the communication space emotional colour and the atmospheres it creates envelop the communication partners by way of resonance. The author sets the signatures concept propounded by the Renaissance philosopher Jacob Böhme against semiotic theories: understanding music is not interpretation but resonance. Gernot Böhme also focuses on contemporary experimental music, where musical instruments are not treated as tools for the production of musical sounds but bodies “provoked” (by hitting, scraping, etc.) to generate specific sounds in the acoustic space.