1- Lana Del Rey’s Vocal Figuration and the Politics of Artistry, Gender and Temporality - Veronika Muchitsch, Uppsala University

4:00 PM, samedi 25 mai 2019 (2 heures)
Circuit guidé "Montréal en jazz"   06:00 PM à 08:00 PM (2 heures)
When Lana Del Rey first appeared in the wider public in 2011, the artist was idiosyncratic in the context of contemporary EDM pop aesthetics. Embedded in eclectic visual imagery and cinematic musical arrangements, Del Rey’s vocal performances created a sensation that was larger than life and apathetic at once, as they meanderedslowly between a rich and dark quality in low range and a bright, clear and at times hushed tone in upper registers. The juxtaposition of contrasts across sonic and visual characteristics were also reflected in Lana Del Rey’s personae, whose aura of mysteriousness and nostalgia have informed the artist’s work as well as its reception.

In this paper, I will analyze Lana Del Rey’s 2012 performance at Saturday Night Live and its subsequent media backlash to examine the conflicted ways in which Lana Del Rey’s voice has been a central agent in the creation, performance, and deconstruction of discourses of artistry, gender, and temporality. I will focus on two particular vocal dimensions of these processes: First, the challenging of Del Rey’s artistry on the basis of discourses of authenticity and neoliberal tenets of disguised self-discipline as well as their respective gendered undercurrents. Second, the role of naturalized recording technology in the artist’s subsequent redemption as well as with regards to her performances of nostalgia and juxtaposed temporalities. Elaborating on the latter aspect, I will ultimately consider the possible political ramifications of recent developments in contemporary pop aesthetics that witnessed the abandonment of maximized intensity for a world-weary mellowness markedly similar to Del Rey’s. Hence, the novel aesthetic curiously appears to have been foreshadowed by an artist, whose work seemed anachronistic only a few years ago.

Uppsala University
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