Bloomsbury has announced four upcoming books on sound related topics. Below are links to ebook versions, although all of them are also available in paperback and hardcover. Click on each title for more info.
Between Air and Electricity — Microphones and Loudspeakers as Musical Instruments
By Cathy van Eck | 216 pages
Composers and sound artists have explored for decades how to transform microphones and loudspeakers from “inaudible” technology into genuinely new musical instruments. While the sound reproduction industry had claimed perfect high fidelity already at the beginning of the twentieth century, these artists found surprising ways of use – for instance tweaking microphones, swinging loudspeakers furiously around, ditching microphones in all kinds of vessels, or strapping loudspeakers to body parts of the audience. Between air and electricity traces their quest and sets forward a new theoretical framework, providing historic background on technological and artistic development, and diagrams of concert and performance set-ups. From popular noise musician Merzbow to minimalist classic Alvin Lucier, cult instrument inventor Hugh Davies, or contemporary visual artist Lynn Pook – they all aimed to make audible what was supposed to remain silent.
Ludic Dreaming – How to Listen Away from Contemporary Technoculture
By David Cecchetto, Marc Couroux, Ted Hiebert, Eldritch Priest | 168 pages
Ludic Dreaming uses (sometimes fictional) dreams as a method for examining sound and contemporary technoculture’s esoteric exchanges, refusing both the strictures of visually dominated logic and the celebratory tone that so often characterizes the “sonic turn.” Instead, through a series of eight quasi-analytical essays on the condition of listening, the book forwards a robust engagement with sounds (human and nonhuman alike) that leverages particularity in its full, radical singularity: what is a dream, after all, if not an incipient physics that isn’t held to the scientific demand for repeatability? Thus, these studies declare their challenge to the conventions of argumentation and situate themselves at a threshold between theory and fiction, one that encourages reader and writer alike to make lateral connections between otherwise wildly incongruent subjects and states of affairs.
Put differently, Ludic Dreaming is a how-to book for listening away from the seeming fatality of contemporary technologies, which is to say, away from the seeming inevitability of late capitalistic nihilism.
Beyond Unwanted Sound — Noise, Affect and Aesthetic Moralism
By Marie Thompson | 216 pages
Noise is so often a ‘stench in the ear’ – an unpleasant disturbance or an unwelcome distraction. But there is much more to noise than what greets the ear as unwanted sound.
Beyond Unwanted Sound is about noise and how we talk about it. Weaving together affect theory with cybernetics, media histories, acoustic ecology, geo-politics, sonic art practices and a range of noises, Marie Thompson critiques both the conservative politics of silence and transgressive poetics of noise music, each of which position noise as a negative phenomenon. Beyond Unwanted Sound instead aims to account for a broader spectrum of noise, ranging from the exceptional to the banal; the overwhelming to the inaudible; and the destructive to the generative. What connects these various and variable manifestations of noise is not negativity but affectivity. Building on the Spinozist assertion that to exist is to be affected, Beyond Unwanted Sound asserts that to exist is to be affected by noise.
Musical Encounters with Deleuze and Guattari
Edited by Pirkko Moisala, Taru Leppänen, Milla Tiainen, Hanna Väätäinen | 256 pages
This is the first volume to mobilize encounters between the work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari and the rich developments in cultural studies of music and sound. The book takes seriously the intellectual and political challenge that the process philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari poses for previous understandings of music as permanent objects and primarily discursive texts. By elaborating on the concepts of Deleuze and Guattari in innovative ways, the chapters of the book demonstrate how musical and sonic practices and expressions can be reconsidered as instances of becoming, actors in assemblages, and actualizations of virtual tendencies. The collection pushes notions of music and sound beyond such long-term paradigms as identity thinking, the privileging of signification, and the centrality of the human subject.
The chapters of the volume bring a range of new topics and methodological approaches in contact with Deleuze and Guattari. These span from movement improvisation, jazz and western art music studies, sound and performance art and reality TV talent shows to deaf musicians and indigenous music. The book also highlights such fresh ways of doing analysis and shaping the methodological tools of music and sound studies that are enabled by Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy. Their philosophy, too, gains renewed capacities and potential when responding to ethnographic, cultural, ethnomusicological, participatory, aesthetic, new materialist, feminist and queer perspectives to music and sound.