Soundings (1981)

1 November 2018, dusan

An exhibition survey of visual artists’ use of sound, music and acoustical phenomena from 1900 through the 1980s staged at Neuberger Museum SUNY from 20 September-23 December 1981.

Artists include Robert Morris, Meredith Monk, Bernhard Leitner, John Cage, Laurie Anderson, Nam June Paik, and many others.

Essays by Suzanne Delehanty, Dore Ashton, Germano Celant and Lucy Fischer.

Edited by Suzanne Delehanty
Publisher Neuberger Museum/State University of New York, Purchase, NY, 1981
ISBN 093403205X, 9780934032056
96 pages

Exh. reviews: Vivien Raynor (New York Times, 1981), John Rockwell (New York Times, 1981), Robert Sherman (New York Times, 1981), Peter Frank (Art Journal, 1982).


PDF (26 MB)

Henri Chopin: Poésie sonore internationale (1979) [French]

28 October 2018, dusan

“This is a (now) historical appraisal of Poésie sonore (Sound Poetry) by Henri Chopin, a central figure in the art form. The sonic qualities of voice and abstract sound was celebrated where poets from across the globe contributed to this phenomenal shift from the purely literal expression of text and voice. Chopin references key artists in the movement, significant works and examples of what were also often visually arresting artworks where wit, design and seriality are evident in typewriter art, collage, text art.”

The book is in French with the exception of the Introduction which is translated into English and the English section ‘A History of Recorded Sound’ (pp 13-40).

With an Introduction by William Burroughs
Publisher J.-M. Place, Paris, 1979
Trajectoires series, 1
ISBN 2858930325, 9782858930326
309 pages


PDF (63 MB)

Curtis Roads: Composing Electronic Music: A New Aesthetic (2015)

8 July 2018, dusan

“Electronic music evokes new sensations, feelings, and thoughts in both composers and listeners. Opening the door to an unlimited universe of sound, it engages spatialization as an integral aspect of composition and focuses on sound transformation as a core structural strategy. In this new domain, pitch occurs as a flowing and ephemeral substance that can be bent, modulated, or dissolved into noise. Similarly, time occurs not merely as a fixed duration subdivided by ratios, but as a plastic medium that can be generated, modulated, reversed, warped, scrambled, and granulated. Envelope and waveform undulations on all time scales interweave to generate form. The power of algorithmic methods amplify the capabilities of music technology. Taken together, these constitute game-changing possibilities.

This convergence of technical and aesthetic trends prompts the need for a new text focused on the opportunities of a sound oriented, multiscale approach to composition of electronic music. Sound oriented means a practice that takes place in the presence of sound. Multiscale means an approach that takes into account the perceptual and physical reality of multiple, interacting time scales-each of which can be composed. After more than a century of research and development, now is an appropriate moment to step back and reevaluate all that has changed under the ground of artistic practice.

Composing Electronic Music outlines a new theory of composition based on the toolkit of electronic music techniques. The theory consists of a framework of concepts and a vocabulary of terms describing musical materials, their transformation, and their organization. Central to this discourse is the notion of narrative structure in composition-how sounds are born, interact, transform, and die. It presents a guidebook: a tour of facts, history, commentary, opinions, and pointers to interesting ideas and new possibilities to consider and explore.”

Publisher Oxford University Press, 2015
ISBN 9780195373233, 0195373235
xxvii+480 pages

Reviews: Nick Collins (Music and Letters, 2016), Gregory Taylor (Cycling74, 2016), Warren Burt (SoundBytes, 2016).


PDF (24 MB)
Companion website