On resonances of Music and Atmosphere. The Slippery Slope of Causality

Friedlind Riedel

Keywords: music, situation ontology, half-thing, New Phenomenology

Atmosphere and ambience have almost exclusively been studied as phenomena of space and place. Terms like immersion, surrounding space, environment, lived space, or envelopment are prevalent in research on atmosphere. Music and musical movement, in contrast, despite being a vital point of reference for concepts of atmosphere, involve a rather complicated set of relations to space, however defined. Rethinking atmosphere through music not only brings questions of dynamism, duration and performance to the fore but leads back to concerns with causality. In this paper, I investigate the atmospheric dynamics of religious rituals in Myanmar while drawing upon Schmitz’s definition of atmosphere as half-thing. I further a notion of atmosphere as collective situation and dynamic performance.