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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Ottley

Ep 10: 'Presence' Sir Harold Marshall

This episode of the podcast is a recording of a presentation delivered by Sir Harold Marshall as part of a colloquium on Presence that took place in Auckland in July 2018. The presentation is entitled 'The Oblique Imperative: the acoustic dimensions of presence'.

The colloquium was born primarily out of the work of Sir Harold and Stamford Professor of Literature Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht who have been exploring ideas around presence.

For some context on the discussion, Hans Gumbrecht's book: 'The Production of Presence - What meaning cannot convey' (available at Amazon) provides the following preface:

"through their exclusive dedication to interpretation, i.e. to the reconstruction and attribution of meaning, the humanities have become incapable of addressing a dimension in all cultural phenomena that is as important as the dimension of meaning. Interpretation alone cannot do justice to the dimension of "presence," a dimension in which cultural phenomena and cultural events become tangible and have an impact on our senses and our bodies."

Sir Harold Marshall is the joint founder of Marshall Day Acoustics (along with Chris Day). He is an architect, engineer and physicist who is recognised internationally for his contribution to concert hall design. Formerly Professor of Architecture in the University of Auckland and Head of the Acoustics Research Centre, Dr Marshall has over 45 years experience in the acoustical design of auditoria and concert halls. His work is widely cited in technical literature and his interest in these fields has been sharpened by his active involvement in musical performance both as a chorister and as a bass-baritone.

More information on Sir Harold and his work can be found here:


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