Richard Carey

Research title: Circling the Square: A practice-based interrogation of the phenomenological language of audiovisual music

Research Summary

Circling the Square: A practice-based interrogation of the phenomenological language of audiovisual music.


Through critical and creative responses, my thesis will explore how the language we have available to articulate experience influences sensory acuity in arts situated between the linguistic frameworks of seeing and hearing.

With particular attention to the psycho-ontological function of language in perception, I will ask: Does the critical vocabulary surrounding the creation and exhibition of audiovisual music divide sensory attention? How can audiovisual composition address the issue through practice?

My practice-based research explores the rhetoric surrounding process and experience in the creation and dissemination of audiovisual music. As an audiovisual composer I create film work that considers both the audio and visual as extensions of the same musical palette, with the heard and the seen forming one sensory, musical whole.

This project will seek to redress this perceptual division by creating non-partisan critical frameworks with a view to expanding phenomenological dialogue in this emergent field of artistic practice. In resisting conventional critical language from the outset, this research will work towards building a new perceptual rhetoric through composition and exhibition. To advance the practical, verbal language surrounding audiovisual music, I will argue that it is fundamental to the research process to also create audiovisual music works that confront the issue, bridging the gap between the intrinsic, artistic language, of the form and the verbal language surrounding it.

The practical, shared process of collaboratively devising and eventually exhibiting work, allows me to analyse the translation of meaning through non-verbal audiovisual communication. Through workshops, discussions and film projects I have been working with ensembles, artists, community groups, filmmakers, institutions and academics to explore the potential of the research. Public exhibition of the work is central to understanding how this language building process is translated through both performance and context.


Music to my eyes (2016) in Time Regained. Comissioned text for Don Levy exhibition by SWG3 for Glasgow International 2016.

Film Score (2016). First performed at CCA, Glasgow as part of Sound Thought 2016 with the Rhubaba Gallery Choir.

Lichtspiel: Opus I (2015). First performed at Stereo, Glasgow as part of Glasgow Film Festival 2015.

The Shape of Words to Come (2014). First performed at St. Cecila's Hall, Edinburgh.


Kenneth Elliot Scholarship 2015.


audibleVISIONS: Conference on video and sound art 2016. Goldsmiths, University of London. Film Score screening and panel discussion.

Sound Thought 2016. Dialogues: Sound and Music across the Arts. Glasgow University. Committee Chair.

SOUND/IMAGE Colloquium 2015. University of Greenwish. Lichtspiel: Opus I screening. 

Music and Screen Media Conference 2014. University of Liverpool. Phonic Imagery screening.