Introspectiveness and the Source Presented at the 32nd Royal Musical Association Research Students' Conference, 1998 and the 2nd Sonic Arts Conference, Huddersfield, 1999

This paper defines an introspective approach to sound sources in electroacoustic composition and how this approach can be found in spectromorphological thinking developed by Denis Smalley. A compositional method that has a predilection towards the source can lead to a music that is intrinsically introspective. Immanuel Kant stated that any object that has intrinsic form has a 'purposiveness without a purpose'. This view may also apply to 'sound objects'. However, in music per say the listener may not be confined to listening to sounds and their constituent elements in isolation. In a multi-layered work the importance of individual sounds and their spectromorphology is diminished as sounds are combined. The author considers ways of 'devaluing' the individual sound source and suggests a more objective approach to source material in electroacoustic composition. The use of unique sources is also discussed. Considering these aspects, a compositional style arises that is directly opposed to spectromorphological thinking.