So transported: Nina Simone, ‘My Sweet Lord’ and the (un)folding of affect

Elliott, Richard (2013) So transported: Nina Simone, ‘My Sweet Lord’ and the (un)folding of affect. In: Thompson, Marie and Biddle, Ian (eds.) Sound, music, affect: theorizing sonic experience. Bloomsbury Academic, London, pp. 75-90. ISBN 9781441114679

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This chapter is based around an analysis of Nina Simone’s recorded performance of George Harrison’s ‘My Sweet Lord’. The initial analysis develops into an exploration of the recorded ‘representations’ of Nina Simone’s performances, the gap between affect and representation, and the ways in which representations produce their own affects. It draws from theories of the eventual, the transformative and the affective as outlined by Alain Badiou, J. L. Austin and Brian Massumi. It also makes reference to what Kathleen Stewart calls 'ordinary affects' in order to highlight the formative strategies of religious and/or ritualistic affect that can be found in Simone’s work. In doing so, it explores the sometimes conflicting, sometimes complimentary modulations between the evental and the everyday that are played out in recorded performances. The chapter is written as a series of ‘channels’, which are intended to represent spaces of flow which can be thought of in sonic terms alongside complimentary metaphors such as streams, currents and eddies. The first half is written from a series of fixed perspectives, while the second is crafted to reflect the themes under discussion, in particular the notions of folding, unfolding and refolding. Where scholarly analysis typically refolds the unfolding it has undertaken in order to present its findings as a coherent whole, as something always already known, the purpose here is to leave part of the story unfolded as both provocation and as exposition of the layers at work in any serious analysis of affect.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Music
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0511 Affection. Feeling. Emotion
M Music. Literature on music. Musical instruction and study > M Music
Depositing User: Richard Elliott
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2013 12:33
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2013 10:09

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