Wholesome Sound @ Department of Sound Design at the Theater Academy 2013 (MA)

(Image: Kaku-an Shi-en)

Jaakko Autio_Kokonainen Ääni.pdf (in Finnish).

WHOLESOME SOUND was my written thesis in 2013 when I graduated from the Department of Sound Design at the Theater Academy (VÄS). The work considers how to implement sound design that renews the worldview of both the author and the viewer. At the time of writing, I had been meditating regularly since 2006 and participated in perhaps 30 retreats, the longest of which were 2 months long. In the thesis, I found it important to connect my two separate paths, the yogi practice and art. This gave rise to my written thesis “Wholesome Sound”.

The downloadable thesis is an updated version of the original. The summary is now shorter and the reading experience smoother. At the end of the work, I reflect a little on how the thesis I wrote in 2013 resonated in my current work (2019) as a sound artist and theater sound designer.

At the beginning of my dissertation, I get to know Grotowski, a now deceased Polish theater reformer who combined yogic practice (Advaita vedanta) with performance art. Grotowski is best known for his “poor theater,” where he ended up stripping out all theatrical expression that didn’t serve the interpersonal influence directly. I go through Grotowski’s conceptualization, primarily the dialectic of juxtaposition and collision.

In the work, I equate the goal and practice of Grotowski and Zen contemplation. Art has long been practiced in the Zen tradition as part of spiritual growth. I will go through the basics of meditation to examine how to listen to a particular point in consciousness that allows a radical way to collide the visible and invisible together, to create space for new insights and aesthetic experiences.

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