Dissertation Title:

Sonic Stretching: Listening for Shadow in Depth Psychological Inquiry


Shara Brun

Date, Time & Place:

November 1, 2021 at 9:00 am


A transdisciplinary study across the fields of depth psychology, somatic studies, arts-based research, ethnomusicology and music therapy, this research ultimately asks how listening to intentionally designed sound pieces might serve to stretch a listener’s windows of tolerance for hearing qualities perceived as Other.  The term sonic stretching is used in this research to refer to engaging sonic imagination in response to sound, and to growing that imaginal capacity toward a broader tolerance of dissonant, or different, sonic material.  Sonic dissonance is held as a symbol for cognitive dissonance and is used as a symbolic proxy for Other, or Shadow in Jungian terms.

This research attends to sonic imagination, with the ultimate aim of exploring how that attention may strengthen a more nuanced and inclusive multisensory palette for use in depth psychological inquiry.  Possibilities regarding what may have prevented such integration from happening previously are first explored via a hermeneutic study of literature, and then further explored via musical arts-based research. The creation and sharing of several sound pieces offer a forum for gathering feedback about listener’s experiences of the sonic stretching process.  Data was collected from public academic psychology conferences, from experts in several fields pertinent to the research, and from a heuristic study of the compositional process.

  • Program/Track/Year: Depth Psych Emphasis in Somatic Studies, S, 2015
  • Chair: Dr. Jeanne Schul
  • Reader: Dr. Alan Kilpatrick
  • External Reader: : Dr. Mitchell Kossak
  • Keywords: Sonic Stretching, Sonic Imagination, Active Imagination, Arts-based Research