This paper discusses an approach to multimodal listening that draws upon three disparate but related areas of research: the creative music practice of the first author, quantitative evaluation of vibrotactile technology within speech and hearing science aimed at improving music perception and enjoyment for cochlear implant users, and a qualitative study involving the musical experiences of people who routinely wear a variety of assistive hearing technologies. It proposes that listening is an active, embodied process, taking place within the diverse sensorimotor, sociocultural, and aesthetic relationships between listeners and their worlds. These ideas are explored through observations of musical listening experiences that are technologically-mediated in various ways: they are ones which incorporate both the sonic and the tactile, but which do not aim to simply substitute one sensory modality for another. This project is intentionally interdisciplinary in its methodologies with the goal of illuminating how research approaches that work in tension can be productively inventive.
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