Shamanic diffusions: a technoshamanic philosophy of electroacoustic music

Jonathan Weinel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electroacoustic music affords the possibility of creating journeys through non- realistic or illusory spaces, through the use of sonic materials. This article proposes the application of the concept of ‘technoshamanism’ as a principle for composing and performing electroacoustic works of this type. I shall commence by examining the use of the term ‘technoshaman’ in relation to psy-trance culture. Through consideration of Rouget’s (1985) definitions of ecstasy and trance, I will discuss the relationship of psy-trance culture to Rouget’s definition of trance. From this position I shall then propose the use of electroacoustic music in relation to Rouget’s definition of ecstasy. This will enable me to define ‘shamanic diffusions’ as an opposing technoshamanic approach to that which is used in psy-trance. Under this discussion, electroacoustic music will be considered as an ecstatic technology. I shall then conclude with some comments and speculation regarding how this concept may be useful as an approach for the composition and performance of electroacoustic music. For example, in various composed works I have used altered states of consciousness and hallucinations, as a principle for the design of sonic materials and musical structure. Through the course of this article then, I will describe a conceptual model through which to consider electroacoustic composition and performance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSonic Ideas/Ideas Sonicas
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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