Playing with time: Kate Bush’s temporal strategies and resistant time consciousness

D-M Withers

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This article focuses on two of Kate Bush's post-Aerial (2005) albums: Director's Cut (2011) and 50 Words for Snow (2011). In these albums Bush plays with the temporal qualities of recorded music to create the conditions for self-reflexive internal time consciousness to emerge within the listener. I argue that self-reflexive internal time consciousness is a process that enables a listener to gain some understanding that they are embroiled in an act of perception forged via active engagement with recorded music. Bush creates these conditions in two principle ways: In Director's Cut she disturbs the memory of previous recorded versions that are re-visited on the album so they can be mobilised as new, interpretative-perceptive acts. In 50 Words for Snow she uses duration as a structure to support the construction of extensive perception. Bush plays with time on these albums because her conceptual music relies upon the uninterrupted unfolding of consciousness as it becomes interlaced with her recordings, understood in the Husserlian sense of temporal objects. Implicit to her temporal strategies is a critique of contemporary listening conditions and how they undermine the very forging of the perceptual act.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPopular Music
Issue number1
Early online date13 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

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