AFFECTS, INDEXES AND SIGNS Will Oldham and the authenticity of the voice in popular music

Large, William ORCID: 0000-0003-0447-5364 (2018) AFFECTS, INDEXES AND SIGNS Will Oldham and the authenticity of the voice in popular music. Angelaki, 23 (3). pp. 75-87. doi:10.1080/0969725x.2018.1473928

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Usually, when we determine the authenticity of a performer in popular music then we do so either through their biography or their inherence within a tradition. The question of authenticity then becomes one of betrayal. This article argues that there might be a unique way of approaching authenticity through affects, where authenticity is impersonal rather than personal. It uses the work of Pierre Schaeffer to describe the difference between indexes and signs on the one hand, and affects on the other, to develop a concept of abstract subjectivity, which is not the same as the individual. It explains abstract subjectivity through Will Oldham’s description of his performance. Finally, it compares this method of listening to popular music with Blanchot’s description of literature as free indirect discourse, speaking without a first person. It is abstract subjectivity that allows popular music to resist its own commodification, which is the very opposite of authenticity.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Angelaki on 4 May 2018, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Affects; Authenticity, Blanchot, Schaeffer, Oldham
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Culture, Continuity, and Transformation
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2018 09:15
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:54

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