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Rajni Shah is a performance maker, writer, and producer. Their practice-based doctoral research – Experiments in Listening – was published in the Performance Philosophy book series in 2021. It effects a shift that provides a key thematic thread of this special issue of the Journal of Sonic Studies, one that interweaves all the contributions in different ways but is rarely stated explicitly: listening-based practices dissolve ossified lines separating “art” from “life,” aesthetic practices from the political. Shah’s reflections are presented as this red thread, a collection of vignettes that can be followed as one line or taken as an invitation to pause between each article, resonating in that liminal and medial space. It is fitting, then, that we round off the issue with a review of Shah’s book, not in the mode of judgement – a critic’s 1- to 5-star rating – but in the spirit of our thematic of voice and listening, as a dialogue. Co-guest editor Ed McKeon, whose own jointly-authored contribution to this issue uses dialogue as a method, posed the questions.
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