Archives for category: Books

I’m happy to announce that my new (e-)book “Engaging with Everyday Sounds” is now freely available. Please go to https://www.openbookpublishers.com/books/10.11647/obp.0288 to download the book in various formats.

‘Engaging With Everyday Sounds’ explores the role of sounds in everyday life, including their impact on human actions, emotions, and imagination. I intertwine sonic studies with philosophy, sound art, sociology and more to create an innovative guide to sonic materialism, calling for a re-sensitization to our acoustic environment and arguing that everyday sounds have (micro)political, social, and ethical impact to which we should attend.

Exploring the intellectual history of sound studies as well as local, global, and temporal sonic geographies, I weave audio files, images, and journal excerpts into this work to create a multimodal monograph that explores the relationships of humans, nonhumans, and their environments through sound. The book contains an interdisciplinary collection of short essays, which might be valuable reading for both academics and the general reader interested in sound studies, sound art, philosophy, or the sociology of everyday life—and for anyone keen to think about the sonic in new and engaging ways.

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Today two new books arrived, both containing an essay of mine. The Oxford Handbook of Western Music and Philosophy includes my reflections on (everyday) listening; my contribution to Ethics and Christian Musicking is called “The Silence of the Monks” and takes as its point of departure the friary of the Carthusian order in a French monastery. The monks are not allowed to speak but of course always surrounded by (and themselves producing) sound.

Good news! The Routledge Companion to Sounding Art, edited by Barry Truax, Vincent Meelberg and myself is now also available in a paperback version.

The Routledge Companion to Sounding Art  book cover

Recently published: Musik, die Wissen schafft. Perspektiven kunstlerischer Musikforschung, edited by Arnold Jacobshagen. The book contains many interesting essays, from Darla Crispin, John Rink, Deniz Peters, and Barthold Kuijken, among others. Also a text by me, entitled “Kunstlerische Forschung und Klangkunst im offentlichen Stadtraum” about sound artworks in public urban spaces by Max Neuhaus, Peter Cusack, Edwin van der Heide, and Asa Stjerna in relation to micropolitics and sonic materialism.

Musik, die Wissen schafft. Perspektiven künstlerischer Musikforschung. Musik – Kultur – Geschichte, Bd. 11

Just to let you know that my online PhD dissertation from 2002 – Deconstruction in Music – is completely renewed. See here!

This book fell this morning on my door mat.  It contains great essays by Michael Schwab, Jonathan Impett, Juan Parra, Mieko Kanno and many others … and one by me too: “Artistic Research and Sound Art in Public Urban Spaces.”

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From the article: “It is the aim of this chapter to expand and examine in more detail how artistic research and sound art relate to one another. To do so, I will concentrate on several existing sound art works, all situated in public urban spaces. The main reason for this demarcation is that working on and with public urban spaces often requires more “research” from the sound artist than producing a so-called autonomous, non-site-specific art work. I will try to answer questions such as: How do sound artists contribute towards developments in the arts as well as knowledge production? Which spaces of research and which methodological tools do they use? Which new concepts have they developed? It is my hope that this chapter will show that artistic research and sound studies—both still marginal (and marginalised) in current academic fields—contribute in significant and unique ways towards rethinking our being-in-and-with-the-world.”

In what follows I pay attention to Max Neuhaus, Peter Cusack, Edwin van der Heide, and Asa Stjerna, and connect their work to micropolitics and sonic materialism.

 

Finally it is there, my e-pub on improvisation and complex systems. And … thanks to Leiden University Press and the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, it is for free as well.

Download for free:

E-PUB: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/52784
E-PDF: http://oapen.org/search?identifier=637220 

lup-the-field-of-musical-improvisation-01-page-001

The central aim of this e-pub is to present a new approach to “the field of musical improvisation” (FMI), a theory which understands improvisation as a nonlinear dynamic and complex system. The study provocatively argues that during an improvisation more actants are “at work” than musicians alone: space, acoustics, instruments, audience, technicians, musical and socio-cultural backgrounds, technology, and the like all play a significant role. However, not all of these actants determine every improvisation to the same extent; some are more prominent and active than others in certain situations (periods, styles, cultures, as well as more singular circumstances). Therefore, the FMI theory will prove to be more than a theory dealing with improvisation “in general.” Rather, FMI emphasizes singularity: each improvisation thus yields a different network of actants and interactions, a unique configuration or assembly.

It is startlingly original in so much as it brings a philosophical/social understanding to the field of musical improvisation. I’ve not really encountered a work that does this so imaginatively and thoroughly. Indeed – reading the work – I think the whole manuscript is one wonderful set of improvisations – and as such works very well. Michael Bull Professor of Sound Studies at the University of Sussex

Marcel Cobussen offers a concise and compelling account of musical improvisation that spans – and at times transgresses – conventional notions of musical genre and academic discipline. A wonderful approach that leverages the multimodal aspects of improvisation and of learning in general. Bravo! David Borgo Professor of Music at UC San Diego

music and ethics

… more good news … after the launch of “my” MOOC Music & Society a couple of days ago, today I found on my doormat the paperback version of “Music and Ethics”, the book I wrote with Nanette Nielsen. 35 GBP instead of the 95 GBP for the hard cover. IOW, affordable for more people!

sounding art companion

I just received an email from Routledge that that The Routledge Companion to Sounding Art has now officially published! The book presents an overview of the issues, methods, and approaches crucial for the study of sound in artistic practice. Thirty-six essays cover a variety of interdisciplinary approaches to studying sounding art from the fields of musicology, cultural studies, sound design, auditory culture, art history, and philosophy. The companion website hosts sound examples and links to further resources.

The collection is organized around six main themes:

  • Sounding Art: The notion of sounding art, its relation to sound studies, and its evolution and possibilities.
  • Acoustic Knowledge and Communication: How we approach, study, and analyze sound and the challenges of writing about sound.
  • Listening and Memory: Listening from different perspectives, from the psychology of listening to embodied and technologically mediated listening.
  • Acoustic Spaces, Identities and Communities: How humans arrange their sonic environments, how this relates to sonic identity, how music contributes to our environment, and the ethical and political implications of sound.
  • Sonic Histories: How studying sounding art can contribute methodologically and epistemologically to historiography.
  • Sound Technologies and Media: The impact of sonic technologies on contemporary culture, electroacoustic innovation, and how the way we make and access music has changed.

With contributions from leading scholars and cutting-edge researchers, The Routledge Companion to Sounding Art is an essential resource for anyone studying the intersection of sound and art.

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I’m working hard on my contribution to The Oxford Handbook of Sound & Imagination. The editors want to put less emphasis on the visual connotation of the word “imagination” and are primarily interested in what they call “sonic imagination”. I’ve decided that my article will concentrate on the role of imagination while listening to sounding art (by which I mean both music and sound art, actually all art in which sound plays a substantial role). The question that keeps me busy at this moment is if it is possible that we do NOT use our imagination while listening to music. Any thoughts from your side?