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Destination Freedom: Strategies for Immersion in Narrative Soundscape Composition


This is a written defense of Destination Freedom, a radio opera and narrative soundscape composition that begins in the cargo hold of a ship trafficking Africans to the Americas and traverses time in search of freedom. Narrative soundscape composition is a classification of electroacoustic music and a research method used to engage historical events and social issues; it is a way to bridge creative practice and scholarship. Radio opera is a type of electroacoustic composition designed to be experienced in darkness in order to animate the theatre of the mind and, as such, borrows strategies for immersion from American radio drama. This text begins with an autoethnographic account of how narrative soundscape composition became my primary praxis followed by an explanation of radio drama as a model for using text, darkness, and spatialization in electroacoustic composition. After a description and analysis of Destination Freedom, the conclusion suggests broader applications for narrative soundscape composition beyond my personal practice.

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