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Welcome to TaPRA 2019 at the University of Exeter!
LK

Lara Kipp

Listening to/in Fragments – Initial Thoughts on Paul Bull’s Legacy
 
Award-winning British sound designer Paul Bull, who passed away in 2017, has left behind a substantial personal collection of sound design materials. Working first as a sound technician, then designer, in repertory theatre from the late 1970s, and subsequently as a freelance sound designer from the early 1990s until his death, his work ranged from sound for small-scale fringe performances and more traditional theatre productions, to contemporary dance pieces and more experimental performance work.

This ten-minute position statement lays out my interest in engaging with this collection and its potential to provide insights into methods of theatre and performance sound archiving as well as a practitioner’s perspective on selection and preservation of sound and sound-related materials. A key component of the collection are sound recordings, including separate discs for music, sound effects, and recordings that were mined for inclusion in both.

The presentation serves to articulate key questions about how to listen to these fragments of performance sound design, bearing in mind their original appearance within an overall soundscape of an associated live event in a specific time and space. Additionally, I seek to question what might be gained from listening in such a fragmented manner, which foregrounds the active engagement of an audience member with an aspect of performance so often literally overlooked. On the one hand I draw on work by Sant (ed., 2017), Borggreen and Gade (eds., 2013) in terms of performance archiving, and on the other on Idhe (2007), Home-Cook (2015), Kendrick and Roesner (2011), Chion (2016), and Voegelin (2010) – among others – regarding sound and listening in theatre and performance. This presentation is a precursor to a pilot project planned for early 2020, engaging with Bull’s private collection. I therefore actively aim to develop my ideas in discussion with the working group.
 
Lara Maleen Kipp is an early career researcher, scenographer, and theatre practitioner. Her PhD at Aberystwyth University engaged in an aesthetic analysis of Howard Barker’s scenography. Previously, she completed a Master’s degree in Practising Theatre & Performance and a joint BA (Hons) Scenography & Theatre Design and Drama & Theatre Studies. Work experiences include Vivienne Westwood Studios, the Salzburg Opera Festival, and a lectureship at the University of Derby. Her research interests include scenography, voice and performance, and contemporary European Theatre. She is currently an independent scholar.