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Björkén-Nyberg, CeciliaORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-4453-945X
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Publications (10 of 23) Show all publications
Björkén-Nyberg, C. (2020). Hearing, Seeing, Experiencing: Perspective Taking and Emotional Engagement through the Vocalisation of Jane Eyre, Heart of Darkness and Things fall apart. International Journal of Language Studies, 14(1)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hearing, Seeing, Experiencing: Perspective Taking and Emotional Engagement through the Vocalisation of Jane Eyre, Heart of Darkness and Things fall apart
2020 (English)In: International Journal of Language Studies, ISSN 2157-4898, E-ISSN 2157-4901, Vol. 14, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

Readers’ emotional engagement with fiction is a busy research area situated at the intersection of cognitive, affective and narrative theory. Perspective taking is a feature that cuts across the disciplines since the narrative situation is crucial for communicating experiences of narrators and characters in literary texts. However, what has been explored in less detail is how the vocalisation of print text facilitates an empathetic response due to the expressive impact of the human voice so that narratives may be visualised and experienced in a variety of ways. Within audionarratology, the concept of voice is undergoing a redefinition since it ceases to be textually mediated and can be experienced directly. Audiobook narration is a case in point. In the present study it is argued that empathy is a mediating agency that resides in the vocalisation of text rather than in the text itself. For the purpose of exploring this phenomenon, a pilot study was carried out. Three canonical English texts that had previously been studied in their entirety in print by a group of students were accessed in part in a remediated audio format. The listening experiment showed that the individual voice profile of each of the narrating actors had a significant impact on perspective taking and emotional engagement. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Ipswich, MA: EBSCO Publishing, 2020
Keywords
audiobook, perspective taking, empathy, vocalisation
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-40599 (URN)
Available from: 2019-09-18 Created: 2019-09-18 Last updated: 2019-09-19
Björkén-Nyberg, C. (2019). From Carl Czerny's Miss Cecilia to the Cecilian: Engineering, Aesthetics, and Gendered Piano Instruction. Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, 40(2), 125-142
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From Carl Czerny's Miss Cecilia to the Cecilian: Engineering, Aesthetics, and Gendered Piano Instruction
2019 (English)In: Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, ISSN 1536-6006, Vol. 40, no 2, p. 125-142Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, Carl Czerny’s Letters to a Young Lady on the Art of Playing the Pianoforte (1837) is studied as a machine manual within the cybernetic economy of James Watt’s governor. It is argued that while the young pupil is encouraged to subject herself to a strict discipline of physical deportment at the piano, this activity is in conflict with her own desire to become a self-regulated learner. The key claim made is that although Czerny’s surveillance strategy prevents Miss Cecilia from breaking with the cybernetic ideal and appropriating the pianistic technology for purposes of virtuosic self-expression, she becomes aware of her latent agency and its potentially subversive implications for gendered music making. As such, Czerny’s piano manual addressed to the stereotypical nineteenth-century piano girl anticipates the pianistic discourse associated with the invention of the player piano at the turn of the twentieth century. © The Author(s) 2018.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2019
Keywords
private instruction, nineteenth century, instrumental, gender, technology
National Category
History of Technology Arts
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-36739 (URN)10.1177/1536600618771268 (DOI)000462527800003 ()2-s2.0-85063565947 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2018-05-08 Created: 2018-05-08 Last updated: 2019-05-09Bibliographically approved
Björkén-Nyberg, C. (2018). Vocalising motherhood: The metaphorical conceptualisation of voice in listener responses to The girl on the train by Paula Hawkins. International Journal of Language Studies, 12(4), 1-28
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Vocalising motherhood: The metaphorical conceptualisation of voice in listener responses to The girl on the train by Paula Hawkins
2018 (English)In: International Journal of Language Studies, ISSN 2157-4898, E-ISSN 2157-4901, Vol. 12, no 4, p. 1-28Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this article is to conceptualise voice as vocalisation. Taking a multidisciplinary approach to the concept of voice, the study is informed by theoretical considerations pertaining to audionarratology, voice semiotics, and cognitive science. It is argued that the physical articulation of voice reinforces metaphorical implications. Through the illustrative example of the audiobook version of the bestselling thriller The girl on the train (2015) by Paula Hawkins, the metaphorical overtones of voice quality are discussed. In addition, the vocal impact on mental imagery, daydreaming, and phenomenal consciousness is analysed. Based on data collected from the Audible website for listener reviews, it is concluded that voice performance has an impact on the way in which both plot and discursive features are perceived. Importantly, the study shows that the gendered theme of motherhood, foregrounded in Hawkins’s novel, takes on new dimensions when the text is vocalised.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Ipswich: EBSCO Publishing, 2018
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-36280 (URN)2-s2.0-85056718228 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2018-02-13 Created: 2018-02-13 Last updated: 2019-01-08Bibliographically approved
Björkén-Nyberg, C. (2017). Empathetic Ears: The audiobook, aesthetics and affect. In: : . Paper presented at Conference on Literacy, Empathy and Social Sustainability, September 7–8, 2017, Halmstad, Sweden.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Empathetic Ears: The audiobook, aesthetics and affect
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Judging from sales figures, the popularity of the audiobook is more than a passing trend. While everyone seems to have an opinion on the topic, either one listens avidly or one refuses to abandon the ingrained habit of print, the aesthetic dimension of the listening experience has long been underexplored. Recently, however, producers and researchers have started to show a growing interest in the actual voicing of a text and its aesthetic effect and, consequently, readers are becoming less categorical. Reading with one’s ears is neither inferior nor superior to reading with one’s eyes; it is quite simply a different experience.

My talk is founded on the assumption that this difference is related to double voicing which can be studied through the theoretical lens of audionarratology. What happens when the metaphorical voice goes physical in the performing act of narration? My focus is on the materiality of voice, what Roland Barthes famously termed its “grain.” A key argument is the recorded voice as a facilitator for an empathetic stance. In my study of the shift to the listening mode with its affective potential, previous research findings on readers’ emotional responses to print texts based on such parameters as story type (descriptive, emotional) and set (sympathetic spectator, identification) will be used as a reference point.

National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-36134 (URN)
Conference
Conference on Literacy, Empathy and Social Sustainability, September 7–8, 2017, Halmstad, Sweden
Available from: 2018-01-22 Created: 2018-01-22 Last updated: 2018-01-23Bibliographically approved
Björkén-Nyberg, C. (2017). Losing Oneself in Words: Finding Ourselves in Sound: The Halmstad Poetry Lab. In: : . Paper presented at Conference on Literacy, Empathy and Social Sustainability, September 7–8, 2017, Halmstad, Sweden.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Losing Oneself in Words: Finding Ourselves in Sound: The Halmstad Poetry Lab
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Being immersed in narratives is often said to be a means of making readers forget the passing of time. As such they may have a beneficial impact on our wellbeing not least due to our capacity to empathise with fictional characters. Poetry, by contrast, forces us to pause. Lyric poetry in particular tends to focus on states and stasis. Thus, while we naturalise texts by narrativising them, we struggle with the “unnaturalness” of poems that force us to pay attention to friction, to see, hear and voice it. This methodology helps us engage in a continuous process of understanding not only ourselves but the experiences of other people and cultures and, paradoxically, to find new narratives while doing so.

 Creative friction is explored in the Poetry Lab (Lyriklabbet), set up jointly by Halmstad city library and Halmstad university in the spring of 2017. Here poetry’s artifice and segmentivity – as opposed to naturalness and flow – is taken as a starting-point for slowing down time and dwelling on emotions and mental states. The main object is to promote a sense of wellbeing through an experimentation with words and the embodiment of voice. Existing poems are studied as well as fresh poems composed by lab members out of material that comes their way in everyday situations. In this presentation, we will be demonstrating how we work in the poetry lab. An important aspect is the use of sound technology as an instrument for challenging the naturalness of the poetic text. By manipulating, rearranging and recontextualising the text through the recorded voice the multidimensionality of the poetic material is foregrounded. The creation of such a sound archive is quite simply a means of staying sound.

National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-36135 (URN)
Conference
Conference on Literacy, Empathy and Social Sustainability, September 7–8, 2017, Halmstad, Sweden
Available from: 2018-01-22 Created: 2018-01-22 Last updated: 2018-01-23Bibliographically approved
Björkén-Nyberg, C. (2017). Translators, Tricksters and Traps: The Correspondence between Paul Solanges and Henry Handel Richardson as Life-Writing Project. Life Writing, 14(1), 83-96
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Translators, Tricksters and Traps: The Correspondence between Paul Solanges and Henry Handel Richardson as Life-Writing Project
2017 (English)In: Life Writing, ISSN 1448-4528, E-ISSN 1751-2964, Vol. 14, no 1, p. 83-96Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In 1910, Paul Solanges wrote to Henry Handel Richardson, author of Maurice Guest (1908), offering to translate the novel into French. Solanges had been deeply moved by the music novel recounting the story of a piano student’s attraction to a femme fatale. Throughout the translation process, which went on for over three years and was never completed due to the translator’s death, Richardson and Solanges exchanged some 300 letters. Initially Solanges was unaware that he was corresponding with a woman and although he soon began to suspect that this was the case, he never confronted her with his suspicion. Instead, the correspondents were in implicit agreement that they were setting traps for each other, a feature that has been given some scholarly attention in the study of Richardson’s creation of her male persona. However, in the present article, the ‘story of traps’ is approached primarily from the point of view of Solanges’s life-writing project. It is claimed that due to its liminal character, the correspondence sits neatly within the trickster genre. The argument is built on Jacques Derrida’s notion of the archive as a phenomenon to be understood from a point in the future. As such, the existence today of the meticulously edited correspondence testifies to the triumphant outcome of Solanges’s painful suffering from archive fever. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2017
Keywords
correspondence, archive fever, trickster, Maurice Guest
National Category
General Literature Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-31165 (URN)10.1080/14484528.2016.1219807 (DOI)000392419900007 ()2-s2.0-84983490215 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-06-14 Created: 2016-06-14 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved
Björkén-Nyberg, C. (2016). Vocal Woolf: The audiobook as a technology of health. SoundEffects, 6(1), 69-87
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Vocal Woolf: The audiobook as a technology of health
2016 (English)In: SoundEffects, ISSN 1904-500X, E-ISSN 1904-500X, Vol. 6, no 1, p. 69-87Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores the therapeutic potential of the performing audiobook voice. It takes its point of departure in the view that the audiobook negotiates the semantics of a text and its vocal manifestation. A key idea is that the performing voice is an affordance for creating a salutogenic sense of coherence in the listener. The argument is theoretically situated within the context of the psychology and sociology of music with affect regulation and ‘health-musicking’ as significant elements. The British actress Juliet Stevenson’s reading of Virginia Woolf’s second novel Night and Day (1919) will be approached as a case of ‘health-musicking’ and an event-based appreciation of sonic culture. This discussion will focus on the listeners’ appropriation of the sound object for their own empowering purposes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Aarhus: Aarhus Universitetsforlag, 2016
Keywords
audiobook, fiction, health technology
National Category
Musicology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-31024 (URN)
Available from: 2016-06-02 Created: 2016-06-02 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
Björkén-Nyberg, C. (2015). Running the Script through the Machine: The Player Piano as a Gender-Political Instrument. In: : . Paper presented at Modernist Musics and Political Aesthetics, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 8-10 April, 2015.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Running the Script through the Machine: The Player Piano as a Gender-Political Instrument
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Launched at the turn of the twentieth century, the semi-mechanical player piano opened up canonical music to new audiences by sidestepping musical literacy. In contrast to other more or less contemporary technical appliances for recording and reproducing sound, the player piano granted its operator the freedom of individual expression. While the machine produced the notes, the performer was at liberty to modify the tempo and the expression. Due to this manipulation of the original score, it became a gender-political instrument. As such, it had a significant effect on the perception, performance and appreciation of music, and thus implicitly on the fictional treatment of these phenomena.

The argument in this paper is built on the notion that the composer’s script as encapsulated in the piano roll could be subjected to such a highly individual treatment that almost a new composition emerged in the process. My first fictional example is from E. M. Forster’s posthumously published Maurice (1971) in which the potential for new gender perspectives that the player piano could provide is glimpsed but rejected. It is argued that it was as great an anomaly to break against heteronormativity as to distort sonata form in Edwardian society. My next two examples demonstrate how the player piano facilitated self-expression and individuality for women performers. Both Lucy Honeychurch in Forster’s A Room with a View (1908) and Miriam Henderson in Dorothy Richardson’s Pointed Roofs (1915) challenge Beethoven’s iconic status and musical form by manipulating the male script and exploring a new pianistic behaviour informed by the mechanical discourse. In my concluding discussion, I will illustrate how the player piano was also a tool for a masculinisation of Chopin’s music. Here I will be referring to Henry Handel Richardson’s Maurice Guest (1908) and James Huneker’s Melomaniacs (1902). 

Keywords
fiction, music, modernism, technology, media
National Category
Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-28100 (URN)
Conference
Modernist Musics and Political Aesthetics, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 8-10 April, 2015
Available from: 2015-04-15 Created: 2015-04-15 Last updated: 2015-08-25Bibliographically approved
Björkén-Nyberg, C. (2015). So Much More than Music: The Player Piano, Material Culture and Gender Politics.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>So Much More than Music: The Player Piano, Material Culture and Gender Politics
2015 (English)Other (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Sound technology was a means of giving expression to new patterns that were emerging in Edwardian society. These changes were reified in the early unsophisticated piano roll which was an odd mixture of decorative Victorian arabesques and functional machine code. As the traditional music score was run through the paper-punching machine, the composer’s intentions were often deleted in the process and replaced with rudimentary tempo instructions in stencil. What remained was a script of telegraphic code to be deciphered at will, not least by the many women who had previously felt their subjectivity stifled in gendered music making.

National Category
Humanities Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-28115 (URN)
Note

Guest lecture, IOTA seminar, College of Arts and Humanities, University of Brighton, Brighton, United Kingdom, 14 October, 2015

Available from: 2015-04-16 Created: 2015-04-16 Last updated: 2015-08-25Bibliographically approved
Björkén-Nyberg, C. (2015). The Player Piano and the Edwardian Novel. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Player Piano and the Edwardian Novel
2015 (English)Book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In her study of music making in the Edwardian novel, Cecilia Björkén-Nyberg argues that the invention and development of the player piano had a significant effect on the perception, performance and appreciation of music during the period. In contrast to existing devices for producing music mechanically such as the phonograph and gramophone, the player piano granted its operator freedom of individual expression by permitting the performer to modify the tempo. Because the traditional piano was the undisputed altar of domestic and highly gendered music making, Björkén-Nyberg suggests, the potential for intervention by the mechanical piano’s operator had a subversive effect on traditional notions about the status of the musical work itself and about the people who were variously defined by their relationship to it. She examines works by Dorothy Richardson, E.M. Forster, Henry Handel Richardson, Max Beerbohm and Compton Mackenzie, among others, contending that Edwardian fiction with music as a subject undermined the prevalent antithesis, expressed in contemporary music literature, between a nineteenth-century conception of music as a means of transcendence and the increasing mechanisation of music as represented by the player piano. Her timely survey of the player piano in the context of Edwardian commercial and technical discourse draws on a rich array of archival materials to shed new light on the historically conditioned activity of music making in early twentieth-century fiction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2015. p. 222
Keywords
English fiction, music technology, media, innovation, gender
National Category
General Literature Studies Engineering and Technology Music
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-28400 (URN)2-s2.0-84948682287 (Scopus ID)978-1-4724-3998-7 (ISBN)978-1-4724-3999-4 (ISBN)978-1-4724-4000-6 (ISBN)
Available from: 2015-06-04 Created: 2015-06-04 Last updated: 2018-08-27Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-4453-945X

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