Presence I

Other than memory and direct reference, what if, through the ripples of intersection, a player inhered in the voices of the still breathing, still speaking persons with whom that player has had contact? And if the strength of this continued existence correlated to the frequency with which one found himself in the company of a given character, could he then be said to reside more in them, than in himself? Find in this sonification tools to dwell within these questions. Here each character has been assigned a sound that is particular to them. The first time each speaks, that sound will play, and so will the sounds of all the other characters that share that scene. In each scene thereafter, each time this character speaks those prior voices will inhere, but their intensity will decay with every word that player speaks without them near. And to their fading chorus will join the stronger sounds of those now present. Sonically, what begins in Act I, Scenes I and II as undifferentiated drones begin to articulate difference as characters mingle and iterate the networks of the play. Through these constraints each player presences as a node within an evolving matrix of connections. As you listen consider whose voices mingle with whom within the space of a given player’s moment and how the play’s affinity networks may be therefore understood to be networks of ruin 1 2.


1. Alexander Galloway, “Networks,” in Critical Terms for Media Studies, eds. W. J. T. Mitchell and Mark B. Hansen. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2010), Kindle Locations 4215-4216.
2. Sonifying Hamlet is not the first project offer a network analysis of Hamlet. See: Franco Moretti, “Network Theory, Plot Analysis,” Stanford: Stanford Literary Lab, (2011), and James Stiller, Daniel Nettle and Robin I.M. Dunbar, “The Small World of Shakespeare’s Plays,” Human Nature 14.4 (2003), 397-408. Where both examine the connections between characters atemporally, compare Sonifying Hamlet’s engagement with the emergent character of the text’s networks.