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Listening to Noise and Silence: Toward a Philosophy of Sound Art [Paperback]

Salome Voegelin
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

31 May 2010
This is a fresh, bold study of the emerging field of Sound Art, informed by the ideas of Adorno, Merleau Ponty and others. "Listening to Noise and Silence" engages with the emerging practice of sound art and the concurrent development of a discourse and theory of sound. In this original and challenging work, Salome Voegelin immerses the reader in concepts of listening to sound artwork and the everyday acoustic environment, establishing an aesthetics and philosophy of sound and promoting the notion of a sonic sensibility. A multitude of sound works are discussed, by lesser known contemporary artists and composers (for example Curgenven, Gasson and Federer), historical figures in the field (Artaud, Feldman and Cage), and that of contemporary canonic artists such as Janet Cardiff, Bill Fontana, Bernard Parmegiani, and Merzbow. Informed by the ideas of Adorno, Merleau-Ponty and others, the book aims to come to a critique of sound art from its soundings rather than in relation to abstracted themes and pre-existing categories. "Listening to Noise and Silence" broadens the discussion surrounding sound art and opens up the field for others to follow.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Continnuum-3PL (31 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1441162070
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441162076
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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The book's arguments are complex and developed with rigour, making a perceptive contribution to an emerging debate. In its favour, the work consistently forces the listener off-track to think critically about just what it is that makes listening so powerful and so elusive. --The Wire, August 2010

'Listening to Noise and Silence will be of interest to a great many people following breakthrough trends within art and philosophy.' --Art Monthly 1st April 2011

'Listening to Noise and Silence will be of interest to a great many people following breakthrough trends in art and philosophy.' --Art Monthly 1st April 2011

About the Author

Salome Voegelin is Senior Lecturer in Sound Arts and Design at the London College of Communication. An artist and writer, her work has been shown in the UK and mainland Europe.

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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Next time, invest in an editor 17 Aug 2011
The content of the book itself would be of great use to those of us who are interested in a philosophic and æsthetic approach to sound that doesn't depend on visual metaphor: I bought this hoping of ways to counter discussions from my students and colleagues that always seemed to gravitate towards what sort of movie for which a piece of music seemed to be the soundtrack. In that situation, providing a philosophic underpinning to auditory æsthetics would be really helpful. However, Professor Voegelin - while a professed writer and artist according to her own bio - makes it very difficult to reach the core of her arguments and understand them, largely through her own poor writing skills.
In short, she writes the way one would speak, and neglects to deploy the formatting and grammatical marks that a good author would use to structure a text. Here, read this sentence (which occurs within the first pages of the main text): "Whereby the senses employed are always already ideologically and æsthetically determined, bringing their own influence to perception, the perceptual object and the perceptual subject." I had to read that three times before realizing that the entire sentence should actually be a subordinate clause to the preceding sentence, and that the two should have instead been linked by a semicolon.
Earlier, in the introduction, we have this clause: "[the sonic sensibility] connects the experience of sound with the notion of virtuality and possible worlds that are not linked to the logic and rational of a visual reality but augment that reality through the blind sight of sound within its depth." What? First, I think she meant "rationale," since "rational" is an adjective which she here would be using as a noun; second ...
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to follow 15 July 2012
Was looking forward to the arguments put forward but became quickly irritated with the unnecessary dense and sometimes unintelligible language and structure. Not recommended.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars nonsense 28 Jan 2013
By Sam
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author, probably due to a lack of intelligence writes in an incredibly hard to follow and difficult to read style often meandering for chapters at a time without saying anything that even makes sense/ and or a point. It is worth reading if your interested in the subject however as the moments of clarity in which the book makes sense some pretty cool insights are revealed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read 11 April 2014
By L.J. - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you like such things, good read. I have passed it on to several others involved in sound design who liked it as well.
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