Author: R. Murray Schafer
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 1993-10-01
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
The soundscape--a term coined by the author--is our sonic environment, the ever-present array of noises with which we all live. Beginning with the primordial sounds of nature, we have experienced an ever-increasing complexity of our sonic surroundings. As civilization develops, new noises rise up around us: from the creaking wheel, the clang of the blacksmith’s hammer, and the distant chugging of steam trains to the “sound imperialism” of airports, city streets, and factories. The author contends that we now suffer from an overabundance of acoustic information and a proportionate diminishing of our ability to hear the nuances and subtleties of sound. Our task, he maintains, is to listen, analyze, and make distinctions. As a society we have become more aware of the toxic wastes that can enter our bodies through the air we breathe and the water we drink. In fact, the pollution of our sonic environment is no less real. Schafer emphasizes the importance of discerning the sounds that enrich and feed us and using them to create healthier environments. To this end, he explains how to classify sounds, appreciating their beauty or ugliness, and provides exercises and “soundwalks” to help us become more discriminating and sensitive to the sounds around us. This book is a pioneering exploration of our acoustic environment, past and present, and an attempt to imagine what it might become in the future.
Author: R. Murray Schafer
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Release Date: 1977
Entertaining recreations of soundscapes of past times and places precede a survey of methods for analyzing present-day soundscapes, distinguishing types of sound, and developing an understanding of the effects of sounds on us all.
Author: R. Murray Schafer
Publisher: The Porcupine's Quill
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
My Life on Earth and Elsewhere, a memoir by the internationally-acclaimed Canadian composer, music educator and writer R. Murray Schafer, traces the author's life and growth as an artist from his earliest memories to the present. Scenes from his youth as an aspiring painter, a music student at the University of Toronto and a sailor on a Great Lakes freighter give way to memories of his several years of work and wandering in Europe, where he gained a deeper understanding of his vocation, and found, especially in Greece, the inspiration for much of the astonishing music he would create after his return to Canada.
Traffic, music, language and nature help to create unique soundscapes that are essential to the place-based character of each city. Taking into account both the urban soundscape and the impacts of sound on the urban dweller, this book examines sound not as a by-product of urban life, but as a fundamental part of the urban experience that is crucial to understanding the city ́s sense of place. Illustrated by case studies from Europe and North America, these range from on-site measurements to the construction of audio tours for local tourism, from media analysis of popular culture audio drama to sound-identity and city branding, and from the classification of noise in city planning to a consideration of the complex relationship between sacred sound and the creation of a sense of place. Taking a social geographic perspective, the book focuses on the effects of sounds on the individual and how they influence the ways s/he engages the city as place, especially in their daily routines. In doing so, it uncovers the socio-scientific potential of sound in the urban environment, based on the understanding that sound cannot and must not be seen as detached from the urban landscape, but rather as a constituting element. Sound exists not only ’within the city’: it ’is’ the city.
Author: Trevor Cox
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2014-02-10
“A lucid and passionate case for a more mindful way of listening. . . . Anyone who has ever clapped, hollered or yodeled at an echo will delight in [Cox’s] zestful curiosity.”—New York Times Trevor Cox is on a hunt for the sonic wonders of the world. A renowned expert who engineers classrooms and concert halls, Cox has made a career of eradicating bizarre and unwanted sounds. But after an epiphany in the London sewers, Cox now revels in exotic noises—creaking glaciers, whispering galleries, stalactite organs, musical roads, humming dunes, seals that sound like alien angels, and a Mayan pyramid that chirps like a bird. With forays into archaeology, neuroscience, biology, and design, Cox explains how sound is made and altered by the environment, how our body reacts to peculiar noises, and how these mysterious wonders illuminate sound’s surprising dynamics in everyday settings—from your bedroom to the opera house. The Sound Book encourages us to become better listeners in a world dominated by the visual and to open our ears to the glorious cacophony all around us.
Author: Karin Bijsterveld
Publisher: transcript Verlag
Release Date: 2013-03
We cannot simply listen to our urban past. Yet we encounter a rich cultural heritage of city sounds presented in text, radio and film. How can such »staged sounds« express the changing identities of cities? This volume presents a collection of studies on the staging of Amsterdam, Berlin and London soundscapes in historical documents, radio plays and films, and offers insights into themes such as film sound theory and museum audio guides. In doing so, this book puts contemporary controversies on urban sound in historical perspective, and contextualises iconic presentations of cities. It addresses academics, students, and museum workers alike. With contributions by Jasper Aalbers, Karin Bijsterveld, Carolyn Birdsall, Ross Brown, Andrew Crisell, Andreas Fickers, Annelies Jacobs, Evi Karathanasopoulou, Patricia Pisters, Holger Schulze, Mark M. Smith and Jonathan Sterne.
Musician and naturalist Bernie Krause is one of the world's leading experts in natural sound, and he's spent his life discovering and recording nature's rich chorus. Searching far beyond our modern world's honking horns and buzzing machinery, he has sought out the truly wild places that remain, where natural soundscapes exist virtually unchanged from when the earliest humans first inhabited the earth. Krause shares fascinating insight into how deeply animals rely on their aural habitat to survive and the damaging effects of extraneous noise on the delicate balance between predator and prey. But natural soundscapes aren't vital only to the animal kingdom; Krause explores how the myriad voices and rhythms of the natural world formed a basis from which our own musical expression emerged. From snapping shrimp, popping viruses, and the songs of humpback whales-whose voices, if unimpeded, could circle the earth in hours-to cracking glaciers, bubbling streams, and the roar of intense storms; from melody-singing birds to the organlike drone of wind blowing over reeds, the sounds Krause has experienced and describes are like no others. And from recording jaguars at night in the Amazon rain forest to encountering mountain gorillas in Africa's Virunga Mountains, Krause offers an intense and intensely personal narrative of the planet's deep and connected natural sounds and rhythm. The Great Animal Orchestra is the story of one man's pursuit of natural music in its purest form, and an impassioned case for the conservation of one of our most overlooked natural resources-the music of the wild.
Author: Seth S. Horowitz
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date: 2012-09-04
Reveals how the human sense of hearing manipulates how people think, consume, sleep and feel, explaining the hearing science behind such phenomena as why people fall asleep while traveling, the reason fingernails on a chalkboard causes cringing and why songs get stuck in one's head.
Author: Leigh Landy
Publisher: MIT Press
Release Date: 2007-08-17
The art of sound organization, also known as electroacoustic music, uses sounds not available to traditional music making, including prerecorded, synthesized, and processed sounds. The body of work of such sound-based music (which includes electroacoustic art music, turntable composition, computer games, and acoustic and digital sound installations) has developed more rapidly than its musicology. Understanding the Art of Sound Organization proposes the first general foundational framework for the study of the art of sound organization, defining terms, discussing relevant forms of music, categorizing works, and setting sound-based music in interdisciplinary contexts. Leigh Landy's goal in this book is not only to create a theoretical framework but also to make the work more accessible--to suggest a way to understand sound-based music, to give a listener what he terms "something to hold on to," for example, by connecting elements in a work to everyday experience. Landy considers the difficulties of categorizing works and discusses such types of works as sonic art and electroacoustic music, pointing out where they overlap and how they are distinctive. He proposes a "sound-based music paradigm" that transcends such traditional categories as art and pop music. Landy defines patterns that suggest a general framework and places the studies of sound-based music into interdisciplinary contexts, from acoustics to semiotics, proposing a holistic research approach that considers the interconnectedness of a given work's history, theory, technological aspects, and social impact. The author's ElectroAcoustic Resource Site (EARS, www.ears.dmu.ac.uk), the architecture of which parallels this book's structure, offers updated bibliographic resource abstracts and related information. Leigh Landy is a composer and scholar. He is Director of the Music, Technology, and Innovation Research Centre at De Montfort University, U.K.
Author: David Rothenberg
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Release Date: 2013-02-15
This innovative book and online CD, assembled by the editors of the renowned periodical Terra Nova, is the first anthology published on the subject of music and nature. Lush and evocative, yoking together the simplicities and complexities of the world of natural sound and the music inspired by it, this collection includes essays, illustrations, and plenty of sounds and music. The Book of Music and Nature celebrates our relationship with natural soundscapes while posing stimulating questions about that very relationship. The book ranges widely, with the interplay of the texts and sounds creating a conversation that readers from all walks of life will find provocative and accessible. The anthology includes classic texts on music and nature by 20th century masters including John Cage, Hazrat Inrayat Khan, Pierre Schaeffer, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Toru Takemitsu. Innovative essays by Brian Eno, Pauline Oliveros, David Toop, Hildegard Westerkamp and Evan Eisenberg also appear. Interspersed throughout are short fictional excerpts by authors Rafi Zabor, Alejo Carpentier, and Junichiro Tanazaki. The virtual CD at http://www.wesleyan.edu/wespress/musicandnaturecd/ includes fifteen tracks of music made out of, or reflective of, natural sounds, ranging from Babenzele Pygmy music to Australian butcherbirds, and from Pauline Oliveros to Brian Eno.
Deep Listening: A Composer's Sound Practice offers an exciting guide to ways of listening and sounding. This book provides unique insights and perspectives for artists, students, teachers, mediators and anyone interested in how consciousness may be effected by profound attention to the sonic environment. Deep Listeningr is a practice created by composer Pauline Oliveros in order to enhance her own as well as other's listening skills. She teaches this practice worldwide in workshops, retreats and in her ground breaking Deep Listening classes at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Mills College. Deep Listening practice is accessible to anyone with an interest in listening. Undergraduates with no musical training benefit from the practices and successfully engage in creative sound projects. Many report life changing effects from participating in the Deep Listening classes and retreats. Oliveros is recognized as a pioneer in electronic music and a leader in contemporary music as composer, performer, educator and author. Her works are performed internationally and her improvisational performances are documented extensively on recordings, in the literature and on the worldwide web.
Author: Christoph Cox
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date: 2017-07-27
Genre: Social Science
The groundbreaking Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music (Continuum; September 2004; paperback original) maps the aural and discursive terrain of vanguard music today. Rather than offering a history of contemporary music, Audio Culture traces the genealogy of current musical practices and theoretical concerns, drawing lines of connection between recent musical production and earlier moments of sonic experimentation. It aims to foreground the various rewirings of musical composition and performance that have taken place in the past few decades and to provide a critical and theoretical language for this new audio culture. This new and expanded edition of the Audio Culture contains twenty-five additional essays, including four newly-commissioned pieces. Taken as a whole, the book explores the interconnections among such forms as minimalism, indeterminacy, musique concrète, free improvisation, experimental music, avant-rock, dub reggae, ambient music, hip hop, and techno via writings by philosophers, cultural theorists, and composers. Instead of focusing on some "crossover" between "high art" and "popular culture," Audio Culture takes all these musics as experimental practices on par with, and linked to, one another. While cultural studies has tended to look at music (primarily popular music) from a sociological perspective, the concern here is philosophical, musical, and historical. Audio Culture includes writing by some of the most important musical thinkers of the past half-century, among them John Cage, Brian Eno, Ornette Coleman, Pauline Oliveros, Maryanne Amacher, Glenn Gould, Umberto Eco, Jacques Attali, Simon Reynolds, Eliane Radigue, David Toop, John Zorn, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and many others. Each essay has its own short introduction, helping the reader to place the essay within musical, historical, and conceptual contexts, and the volume concludes with a glossary, a timeline, and an extensive discography.
Author: David Hendy
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 2013-10-15
What if history had a sound track? What would it tell us about ourselves? Based on a thirty-part BBC Radio series and podcast, Noise explores the human dramas that have revolved around sound at various points in the last 100,000 years, allowing us to think in fresh ways about the meaning of our collective past. Though we might see ourselves inhabiting a visual world, our lives have always been hugely influenced by our need to hear and be heard. To tell the story of sound—music and speech, but also echoes, chanting, drumbeats, bells, thunder, gunfire, the noise of crowds, the rumbles of the human body, laughter, silence, conversations, mechanical sounds, noisy neighbors, musical recordings, and radio—is to explain how we learned to overcome our fears about the natural world, perhaps even to control it; how we learned to communicate with, understand, and live alongside our fellow beings; how we've fought with one another for dominance; how we've sought to find privacy in an increasingly noisy world; and how we've struggled with our emotions and our sanity. Oratory in ancient Rome was important not just for the words spoken but for the sounds made—the tone, the cadence, the pitch of the voice—how that voice might have been transformed by the environment in which it was heard and how the audience might have responded to it. For the Native American tribes first encountering the European colonists, to lose one's voice was to lose oneself. In order to dominate the Native Americans, European colonists went to great effort to silence them, to replace their "demonic" "roars" with the more familiar "bugles, speaking trumpets, and gongs." Breaking up the history of sound into prehistoric noise, the age of oratory, the sounds of religion, the sounds of power and revolt, the rise of machines, and what he calls our "amplified age," Hendy teases out continuities and breaches in our long relationship with sound in order to bring new meaning to the human story.