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What is the limit of "exclusive allocation" ?
A prosperous New Year to everyone!
I am an MPhil/PhD student of instrumental and vocal composition (I was also
a professional musician for a number of years before resuming my studies). I
am engaged in developing music that exploits the perceptual ambiguity
generated by closely balanced competition between perceptual organisations
where those organisations share common elements. My question concerns the
principle of exclusive allocation as found in the Rubin faces/vase image and
as occurs in my music: For some time now I have had the impression that I am
able to perceive two competing perceptual organisations simultaneously, a
mode of perception that apparently violates exclusive allocation. (It also
seems to me that it must be different to duplex perception where the mind
involuntarily “duplicates” an element present in one perceptual organisation
in order to add it, mirage-like to another where it is in fact absent. – The
perceptual mode I am describing is quite voluntary and does not result in
the illusory presence of duplicated elements with the receiving
organisation.) My knowledge of music psychology is inadequate to explain
this phenomenon. Can someone assist me with this?
Here are a few more details on my part: It has taken some practice to
achieve this “multiple perception”. I find it most effective with regard to
relatively static and repetitive musical textures. It is accompanied by a
trancelike sensation of “divided attention”.
I am also on the lookout for a collaborator, someone interested in working
with a composer receptive to issues of music psychology, preferably in the
area outlined above.
Paul du Preez
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