Brian Kane: Sound Unseen: Acousmatic Sound in Theory and Practice (2014)

7 March 2015, dusan

“Sound coming from outside the field of vision, from somewhere beyond, holds a privileged place in the Western imagination. When separated from their source, sounds seem to manifest transcendent realms, divine powers, or supernatural forces. According to legend, the philosopher Pythagoras lectured to his disciples from behind a veil, and two thousand years later, in the age of absolute music, listeners were similarly fascinated with disembodied sounds, employing various techniques to isolate sounds from their sources. With recording and radio came spatial and temporal separation of sounds from sources, and new ways of composing music.

Sound Unseen explores the phenomenon of acousmatic sound. An unusual and neglected word, “acousmatic” was first introduced into modern parlance in the mid-1960s by avant garde composer of musique concrete music Pierre Schaeffer to describe the experience of hearing a sound without seeing its cause. Working through, and often against, Schaeffer’s ideas, Brian Kane presents a powerful argument for the central yet overlooked role of acousmatic sound in music aesthetics, sound studies, literature, philosophy and the history of the senses. Kane investigates acousmatic sound from a number of methodological perspectives-historical, cultural, philosophical and musical-and provides a framework that makes sense of the many surprising and paradoxical ways that unseen sound has been understood. Finely detailed and thoroughly researched, Sound Unseen pursues unseen sounds through a stunning array of cases-from Bayreuth to Kafka’s “Burrow,” Apollinaire to Zizek, music and metaphysics to architecture and automata, and from Pythagoras to the present-to offer the definitive account of acousmatic sound in theory and practice.

The first major study in English of Pierre Schaeffer’s theory of “acousmatics,” Sound Unseen is an essential text for scholars of philosophy of music, electronic music, sound studies, and the history of the senses.”

Publisher Oxford University Press, 2014
ISBN 9780199347841
318 pages

Author
Publisher
WorldCat

PDF, PDF, PDF (5 MB, updated on 2016-12-23)

Michel Chion: Film, a Sound Art (2003/2009)

29 January 2015, dusan

“French critic and composer Michel Chion argues that watching movies is more than just a visual exercise—it enacts a process of audio-viewing. The audiovisual makes use of a wealth of tropes, devices, techniques, and effects that convert multiple sensations into image and sound, therefore rendering, instead of reproducing, the world through cinema.

The first half of Film, A Sound Art considers developments in technology, aesthetic trends, and individual artistic style that recast the history of film as the evolution of a truly audiovisual language. The second half explores the intersection of auditory and visual realms. With restless inventiveness, Chion develops a rhetoric that describes the effects of audio-visual combinations, forcing us to rethink sound film. He claims, for example, that the silent era (which he terms “deaf cinema”) did not end with the advent of sound technology but continues to function underneath and within later films. Expanding our appreciation of cinematic experiences ranging from Dolby multitrack in action films and the eerie tricycle of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining to the way actors from different nations use their voices and words, Film, A Sound Art showcases the vast knowledge and innovative thinking of a major theorist.”

First published as Art sonore, le cinema, 2003

Translated by Claudia Gorbman
Publisher Columbia University Press, 2009
ISBN 0231137761, 9780231137768
536 pages
via johnsonleow

Reviews: Knakkergaard (MedieKultur, 2010), Whittington (Music, Sound, and the Moving Image, 2010), Jaeckle (Quarterly Review of Film and Video, 2011).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (Index missing, 58 MB, no OCR, updated on 2021-10-7)

Osiris 28: Music, Sound, and the Laboratory from 1750–1980 (2013)

14 November 2014, dusan

“The understanding of sound underwent profound changes with the advent of laboratory science in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. New techniques of sound visualization and detection, the use of electricity to generate sound, and the emergence of computers radically reshaped the science of acoustics and the practice of music. The essays in this volume of Osiris explore the manifold transformations of sound ranging from soundproof rooms to psychoacoustics of seismology to galvanic music to pedaling technique. They also discuss more general themes such as the nature of scientific evidence and the development of instruments and instrumentation. In examining the reciprocity between music and science, this volume reaches a new register in the evolution of scientific methodology during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.”

Edited by Alexandra Hui, Julia Kursell, and Myles W. Jackson
Publisher University of Chicago Press, August 2013
ISBN 022605375X, 9780226053752
303 pages

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (updated on 2020-4-16)