Drawing on research for a forthcoming 33 1/3 series book on Siouxsie and the Banshees’ ninth studio album Peepshow (Bloomsbury Academic), this paper will analyze the technological (presence of sound and recording technologies) and processual (sonically discernible textural and gestural matters applied by the recordist) or ‘tech-processual’ construction of a panoramic peep show ‘stage’ in Peepshow’s lead single ‘Peek-A-Boo’. The analysis aims to illustrate: firstly, the underlying musique concrète tape composition; secondly, the single’s multi-intertextual form, featuring sampling, quotation and allusion; and, thirdly, the unusual orchestration and resultant stylistic bricolage. A further aim is to explicitly address the tech-processual construction of a sonically discernible ‘stage’ on which lead singer Siouxsie Sioux’s stripper persona ‘performs’, thus befitting the lyrical narrative of the peep show environment. This paper posits the recording of a complex popular music composition as its analytical object and, in applying an innovative set of analytical tools to it, seeks to expand the breadth of musical parameters beyond matters of musical syntax. In applying this mode of analysis the relationship between musical, lyrical and tech-processual matters is elucidated to reveal a more comprehensive understanding of the recording and its component parts; the construction of a sonic environment befitting of musical and lyrical constituents is clearly evident.
12.A.2Séance - Sounds of Popular Music (II)
Samantha Bennett is Associate Professor in music at The Australian National University. Samantha is the author of Modern Records, Maverick Methods: Technology and Process in Contemporary Record Production (forthcoming). Two further books, Peepshow, a 33 1/3 series book on the album by Siouxsie and the Banshees, and Critical Perspectives on the Production of Music and Sound are both forthcoming from Bloomsbury Academic. She has published numerous chapters and articles on popular music recording, production and technology including in Global Glam and Popular Music (Routledge), The Oxford Handbook of Music and Virtuality (OUP), Popular Music, Popular Music and Society and The Journal of Popular Music Studies. In 2014 she gave the American Musicological Society lecture at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Library and Archives where she also held a 2015 research fellowship.
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