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Zachary James Bresler

PhD Candidate

51122F ( Universitetsveien 51, Kristiansand )

In the past several years, immersive and interactive media such as virtual reality (VR), 360 videos, Dolby Atmos, and other 3D music and media technologies have become more frequently used in the production and dissemination of popular music. For example, in 2019, pop icon Björk released Vulnicura VR, a set of 3D audiovisual music videos for her 2016 album Vulnicura, on the popular PC video game shop Steam. In the same year, both Amazon Prime Music HD and Tidal HiFi began offering music in the 3D sound format Dolby Atmos, while agreements between Dolby and major labels such as Universal have resulted in thousands of popular tracks from a variety of musical genres being remixed for the format. All the while, 360 videos launched on both Facebook and YouTube in 2016 and 2017 respectively, and many popular artists including MUSE, The Weeknd, Taryn Southern, Squarepusher, and others have used 360 videos and social media to propel their image on the front edge of media technology. As these kinds of media become more popular and accessible to consumers, they force us to reexamine the ways we understand the production and reception of popular music. How are aesthetic features of pop compositions altered or maintained in these productions? And how do these different spatial mediums effect compositional design, subject positioning, artists’ performativity, and staging? What is the relationship between the performer and viewer of an immersive popular music video? And how can these media shape our understanding of interpretations of immersion and interactivity in general? With a background as a drummer, music producer, recording engineer, and composer, Zachary’s research attempts to address these questions through a primarily hermeneutic frame, modelling the relationship between the structural and interpretive aspects of audiovisual musical material with an interdisciplinary approach to music and media analysis. The working title of the thesis is Immersed in Pop! Musicological Inquiries into Immersion and Interactivity, and is scheduled to be submitted in summer 2021.

Research interests

- Popular musicology

- Surround and immersive audio

- Aesthetics of music production

Selected publications

  • Bresler, Zachary. 2020. Music and Space: A case of live immersive music performance with the Norwegian post-rock band Spurv (e-brief). Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, AES Virtual Vienna. 
  • Bresler, Zachary. 2021 (Autumn). Immersed in Pop: 3D Music, Subject Positioning, and Compositional Design in The Weeknd’s ‘Blinding Lights’ in Dolby Atmos. Journal of Popular Music Studies. 33(3).

Scientific publications

  • Hawkins, Stan; Bresler, Zack (2023). Masking: Queer Aesthetics and Production Tricks in Orville Peck's "Hope to Die" (2019). Analyzing Recorded Music: Collected Perspectives on Popular Music Tracks. ISBN: 9780367546328. Routledge. 20. s 339 - 357.
  • Bresler, Zachary; Hawkins, Stan (2022). ‘A Swarm of Sound’: Audiovisual Immersion in Björk’s VR Video ‘Family’. Music, Sound, and the Moving Image. ISSN: 1753-0768. 16 (1). s 29 - 52. doi:10.3828/msmi.2022.2.
  • Bresler, Zachary (2021). Immersed in Pop: 3D Music, Subject Positioning, and Compositional Design in The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” in Dolby Atmos. Journal of Popular Music Studies. ISSN: 1524-2226. 33 (3). s 84 - 103. doi:10.1525/jpms.2021.33.3.84.
  • Sem, Idunn; Bresler, Zachary (2020). Scene for elektronisk musikk og kunst, vol. 0.
  • Bresler, Zachary (2020). Music and Space: A case of live immersive music performance with the Norwegian post-rock band Spurv.
  • Bresler, Zachary James (2019). Immersed in Pop: Rethinking Spatiality and Directionality for a Post-Stereo World.

Research groups

Last changed: 25.02.2021 09:02