Composing the Sublime
: Rituals in Electroacoustic Music

  • Georgios Sakellariou

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Can electroacoustic music concerts become places of ritual? This question is the starting point of an analytical and practical investigation of the societal interplay of electroacoustic music and the sublime experience of acousmatic listening. The research highlights a common emphasis on the spiritual qualities and social values between electroacoustic music and religious rituals. The aim is to elevate the acousmatic concert into a powerful process of transformation.

Furthermore, the research expands the framework of electroacoustic music and suggests methods for further theoretical interrogation and artistic practice. A practice-based and qualitative methodological approach is adopted, including reflective journaling, fieldwork, studio composition and artistic collaboration. Additionally, the research draws inspiration from ethnomusicological and anthropological contexts to establish a link between the evocative and transcendental atmosphere of religious rituals and electroacoustic music concerts.

At the core of the research is the creative practice: a portfolio of four substantial electroacoustic music compositions which draw upon the communal experience of listening in concerts, the communication between composer and audiences and their interaction with performance spaces and the rest of the physical and supernatural world.
Date of Award2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Coventry University
SupervisorTom Williams (Supervisor) & Christopher Hobbs (Supervisor)

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