Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Resonances: Noise and Contemporary Music published!

Resonances: Noise and Contemporary Music is about to be published by Bloomsbury, co-edited by Salford academics Drs Michael Goddard, Benjamin Halligan and Nicola Spelman. 

The book arises from the international conference held at Salford in Summer 2010, “Bigger than Words, Wider than Pictures: Noise, Affect, Politics”, and is the sister volume to Reverberations: The Philosophy, Aesthetics and Politics of Noise (published in 2012 by Bloomsbury-Continuum, co-edited by Michael Goddard, Benjamin Halligan and Paul Hegarty).

Authors include Salford Profs Sheila Whiteley ("Kick Out the Jams! Creative Anarchy and Noise in 1960s Rock") and George McKay ("To Be Played at Maximum Volume: Rock Music as a Disabling (Deafening) Culture") along and an international cast of academics, musicians, programmers and photographers. 

Full info:

From the Introduction:

Contemporary histories of popular Western musics may be more usefully
read as a series of debates concerning what, sonically and experientially,
actually constitutes music in the commonly understood way, and what then
constitutes, or can be termed as, and typically dismissed as, non-music.
Such debates are class-ridden, evidence racial prejudices and profiling,
continually undermine traditional musicological assumptions, radically
problematize the commercial framings of music, mark all pivotal shifts in
music across at least one hundred years, relentlessly advance the ‘death of
the author’, are called upon to define time, place and national identity, and
outmanoeuvre demarcations of high art and low culture. Answers provided
have formed the methodological foundations of the conservatoire as well as
journalistic and academic approaches to music, and now pull in their wake
a judicial apparatus of ownership, censorship and reparations.

Technologies have been calibrated to answers provided too: reproductions
of sound that invariably brag about ‘noise reduction’. Noise, to music,
is typically byproduct, accident, the unwanted, the unpleasant. And yet
noise is inevitable and imminent to music: that inexorable presence that
mixers and sound engineers do their best to exorcize, that gig-goers reflexively
block out, plugging fingers in ears, when it takes the form of feedback.
The exception that proves the rule in terms of contemporary music is folk:
‘natural’ sounds and pre-modern instruments (and, often, affectations) as
a respite from the noise of the real or urban world and the noise of the
musics that the real or urban world taints – a kind of bucolic, aristocratic
asceticism, and one that implicitly casts noise as detrimental to musical, and
human, interactions. 

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