The Sonarium, or, Towards a Spatiality Proper to Sound

One of the most refreshing aspects of Deleuzian philosophy is the imperative to create concepts. For music, a field long dominated by less-than-satisfactory incursions from other domains, the need for better concepts could not be more acute. In this paper I explore a concept constructed from within a sound-centred experience, what I’m calling “the Sonarium,” which I will argue has the potential to open thought to something closer to what I intuit about the way(s) we experience sound, and a better place from which to set out asking questions about musical ideas, musicality, rhythm, and beyond. One advantage to thinking about sound in terms of the Sonarium is that it disrupts the central intervention of this abstract creature we call pitch. Indeed, it challenges the authority of any preconceived object or dimension ordinarily recognised by scholars (and the well-known biases that attend these divisions). But ultimately the Sonarium is a productive concept, as I will argue, and resonates with some of Deleuze’s most challenging metaphysical concepts. It also reinvigorates some Bergsonian strands that have largely gone silent in discourse about Deleuze but which are exceedingly helpful for music.