Siliceous: speculative mimesis and the grain of the digital audio workstation

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Australasian Computer Music Association


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)


Terren, M. (2018). Siliceous: speculative mimesis and the grain of the digital audio workstation. Paper presented at the Australasian Computer Music Conference, Perth, Australia. Available here


Siliceous is an electronic composition by the author exploring two related practices. Firstly, it explores a sonic practice the author denotes as speculative mimesis, understood as the construction of notional soundscapes. Secondly, it explores the unique material conditions of the digital audio workstation (DAW), a software application ubiquitous in the creation of recorded music but rarely explored in its own right. Taking a hypothetical subterranean ecosystem as the subject of the composition, it was found through rge composition of Siliceous that employing techniques from electronic dance music, among other novel techniques, explored both the limitations of speculative mimesis and the material conditions of the DAW simultaneously. These findings refute R. Murray Schafer’s concept of the hi-fi soundscape, making clear how constructed and illusory this kind of soundscape is despite its privileged status in the acoustic ecology community.

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