Serge LACASSE, Towards a poetics of phonography: The narrative function of the vocal scenography in Alanis Morissette's "Front Row" (1998)

It is not necessary anymore to underline the importance of technology in popular music: its influence, if not its indispensability during the stages of production and dissemination, have often been evoked. However, there are few studies that have resolutely considered the role of technology as an element that fully contributes to the composition of the sonic texture on an aesthetic level. The aim of this article is twofold: first, it briefly presents a theoretical model of musical parameters stemming from the use of technology; second, it proposes an application of this model through a detailed analysis of a song, namely Alanis Morissette's "Front Row" (1998). This analysis, which takes into account some notions of narratology, demonstrates how the mediation of the musical text through the staging of recorded sounds can play a determining role in the song's reception. This "poetics of phonography" allows to identify a series of potential connotations and significations, which the author attempts to describe.