Marc Couroux, “The Maryanne House”
The Maryanne House is an occult mental construct, a model named after Maryanne Amacher, esteemed phonomagus, in honour of her psychoacoustic experiments. Peregrinating through its rooms is tantamount to walking through your neuro-musical system, the brain vectors which collude to organize the human perception of music. Lamina Dyre, my guide through this psychedelic Victorian mansion, once described its modus operandi as a quantum game of questions, in which the decoding of the room’s message produces the percept. The manifestation of this house-incorporation was first noticed in so-called hypermusiac patients with particularly enlarged auditory cortices and cerebella, some of whom had also been diagnosed with Williams Syndrome. This time, the music filling the house is none other than the extra_musical, a series of wild piano improvisations generated by extreme physical gestures, named after the term extramusical, first employed by 19th century concert music critics to denote—and thereby condemn and seek to expunge—the discursive framework within which a supposedly abstract work of music actually concretizes. The extramusical is that which unsettles the musical ear, while constituting it at the same time. And so, this will be a story of strangely configured bodies struggling to break through, re-enter a system of abstraction that had expelled their illicit, excessive physicality by recoding it as virtuosic signal.
Marc Couroux (xenopraxis) is an inframedial artist, pianistic heresiarch, schizophonic magician, teacher (York University) and author of speculative theory-fictions. His xenopraxis burroughs into uncharted perceptual aporias, transliminal zones in which objects become processes, surfaces yield to sediment, and extended duration pressures conventions beyond intended function. His work has been exhibited and performed internationally (Amsterdam, Berlin, Chicago, Glasgow, London etc). With Asounder, a sonic tactic collective, he coordinated the (un)sound occupation workshop (collapsing sound and politics) in Toronto in 2013. He is a founding member of The Occulture (with David Cecchetto, Ted Hiebert, eldritch Priest & Rebekah Sheldon), a Toronto collective investigating the esoteric imbrications of sound, affect and hyperstition through (among other constellating ventures) Tuning Speculation: Experimental Aesthetics and the Sonic Imaginary, an ongoing workshop with yearly iterations (6 so far), and the Sounding the Counterfactual stream at the 2014 London Conference in Critical Thought (a blog at theocculture.net documents their evolving thought-forms). Recent talks occurred at MaerzMusik, Berlin (Berliner Festspiele), New York University, Center for Transformative Media (Parsons), Kingston University (London), Goldsmiths, University of London, the Aesthetics After Finitude conference in Sydney, Australia and LOMAA (London Media Arts Association). Recent publications include the quad-authored (Occulture) Ludic Dreaming: How to Listen Away from Contemporary Technoculture (Bloomsbury), a Preemptive Glossary for a Techno-Sonic Control Society in the Volumes catalogue (Blackwood Gallery), a speculative tract on AUDiNT for the CTM Festival (Berlin), a review of occult auditory documentation in the inceptive issue of Sound Studies (Bloomsbury) and chapters in The Idea of the Avant-Garde (Manchester University Press), Aesthetics After Finitude (re.press), Phono-Fictions and Other Felt Thoughts (Noxious Sector Press) and Unsound : Undead (Urbanomic, with The Occulture). Xenaudial, an evolving “psychoacoustic fugue” is currently 98 episodes strong, with phases 3, 4 & 5 to appear in Summer 2019 (xenaudial.wordpress.com). Xenaudial’s sonic hyperstitions are available at xenaudial.bandcamp.com. Couroux’s hyperstitional doppelgänger was famously conjured in Priest’s Boring Formless Nonsense (Bloomsbury, 2013). He tweets as @xenopraxis