Synopses & Reviews
andldquo;The smartest book on the German roots of the music and media arts that happened once electricity joined sound to make music. With the advent of these innovative art forms, new technological possibilities were hacked, and recordings stopped repeating themselves and performed something new.andrdquo;andmdash;Douglas Kahn, author of Earth Sound Earth Signal: Energies and Earth Magnitude in the Arts
andldquo;Instruments for New Music is a fascinating story of the technological music instrumentarium that not only gives composers and improvisers new sounds and new ways to play but also engages all of us in new social and philosophical insights.andrdquo;andmdash;Pauline Oliveros, Composer and Professor of Practice,and#160;Department of the Arts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Instituteand#160;
andldquo;Every so often a book comes along with something new to say about a familiar topic. Through meticulous new research on electronic music in Germany during the Weimar Republic, Thomas Patteson recovers the forgotten history of the music. He provides the most detailed account we have of how electronic music became tainted by the Nazis and how Stockhausen rewrote its history in his Cologne studio. Incredible instruments were developed during this early periodandmdash;not least the trautonium used by Hitchcock to make the scary sounds of The Birds! This book shows how todayandrsquo;s sounds were born long before the age of electronics.andrdquo;andmdash;Trevor Pinch, author of Analog Days: The History and Impact of the Moog Synthesizer
and#8220;Dyson seamlessly integrates theoretical perspectives with the history of technological developments in this thought-provoking work for scholars and practitioners.and#8221;
“Sophisticated and . . . ambitious. . . . Dysons skillful, erudite excavations of rhetorical and conceptual structures bring many benefits.” Notes (Music Library Assoc)
and#8220;An informative book on the still developing role between new media, consumer, and creator.and#8221;
and#8220;A stimulating read. . . . Dyson engages with an impressive range of perspectives. She contributes valuably to contemporary music scholarship.
“An informative book on the still developing role between new media, consumer, and creator.” Heather Pinson
and#8220;Sophisticated and . . . ambitious. . . . Dysonand#8217;s skillful, erudite excavations of rhetorical and conceptual structures bring many benefits.and#8221;
Sounding New Media examines the long-neglected role of sound and audio in the development of new media theory and practice, including new technologies and performance art events, with particular emphasis on sound, embodiment, art, and technological interactions. Frances Dyson takes an historical approach, focusing on technologies that became available in the mid-twentieth century-electronics, imaging, and digital and computer processing-and analyzing the work of such artists as John Cage, Edgard Varand#232;se, Antonin Artaud, and Char Davies. She utilizes sound's intangibility to study ideas about embodiment (or its lack) in art and technology as well as fears about technology and the so-called "post-human." Dyson argues that the concept of "immersion" has become a path leading away from aesthetic questions about meaning and toward questions about embodiment and the physical. The result is an insightful journey through the new technologies derived from electronics, imaging, and digital and computer processing, toward the creation of an aesthetic and philosophical framework for considering the least material element of an artwork, sound.
"Dyson takes on both the paucity of commentary on sound in new media arts, and the centrality of sound metaphors in talk about new media. Immersion comes into the language from musicology and music criticism, and Dyson does a great job of tracing its gradual integration, in various forms, into the rhetoric of new media since the 1960s."and#151;Sean Cubitt, University of Melbourne
"Look no further for a wonderfully rich study of the strange new materialities opened up by radical developments in sound technology."and#151;Timothy Morton, author of Ecology without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics
At publication date, a free ebook version of this title will be available through Luminos, University of California Pressandrsquo; new Open Access publishing program for monographs. Visit www.luminosoa.org to learn more.
Player pianos, radio-electric circuits, gramophone records, and optical sound filmandmdash;these were the cutting-edge acoustic technologies of the early twentieth century, and for many musicians and artists of the time, these devices were also the implements of a musical revolution. Instruments for New Music traces a diffuse network of cultural agents who shared the belief that a truly modern music could be attained only through a radical challenge to the technological foundations of the art. Centered in Germany during the 1920s and and#39;30s, the movement for new instruments encompassed a broad spectrum of aesthetic orientations, from the exploration of microtonal tunings and exotic tone-colors to the ability to compose directly for automatic musical machines. It involved composers, inventors, and visual artists, including Paul Hindemith, Ernst Toch, Jandouml;rg Mager, Friedrich Trautwein, Landaacute;szlandoacute; Moholy-Nagy, Walter Ruttmann, and Oskar Fischinger. Pattesonandrsquo;s fascinating study combines an artifact-oriented history of new music in the early twentieth century with an astute revisiting of still-relevant debates about the relationship between technology and the arts.
About the Author
is Professor of Music History at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. He is also an associate curator for Bowerbird, a performing organization that presents contemporary music, film, and dance.
Table of Contents
1. Ethereal Transmissions
The and#147;Teleand#8221; of Ph_n_
2. Celestial Telegraphies
3. Aural Objects, Recording Devices, and the Proximate Apparatus
4. Death, Silence, and the Tape Recorder
6. Embodying Technology
From Sound Effect to Body Effect
Conclusion: Music and Noise