Haunted Weather has ratings and 14 reviews. sphamilton said: Dipping again into this fantastic book about music and sound, and how they are affected.. . Haunted Weather by David Toop, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Haunted Weather: Music, Silence, and Memory – David Toop on AllMusic – – This.
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The tooop of traffic noise outside the window sound like waves beating against the shore. A wfather fan reveals layers of funky rhythms, like a Steve Reich composition. A domestic soundscape of fridge hum, fly buzz and fluorescent-light whine is dizzyingly complex in its shifting harmonic relationships. It is this attitude of listening that informs contemporary experimental electronic music and sound art. Anything can be a site of aesthetic interest if the listener pays attention.
Haunted Weather – a brilliant title, implicitly offering a poetically generous definition of what music is – pursues experimental sound art into the 21st century, interviewing its weird and wonderful practitioners, musing on its implications and weaving it all into a globetrotting travelogue. In Tokyo, he watches people doing something like free jazz with laptops. We learn about CDs of “music” that contain spans of silence punctuated by a few clicks, meet a man who loves to listen to jet engines, and discover the sounds made by western North Atlantic fish.
Toop recalls his experiences playing in improv bands in the s, worrying about the reduced physical involvement and the troubled relationship with expectations of “performance” experienced by electronic musicians who operate computer mice.
He has a nice line in irony: Toop discusses the work of film composer Toru Takemitsu, the “background free oscillations of the Earth”, and the idea of silence itself: He coins a useful word, “soundmark”, on the pattern of landmark, to think about the way sounds, once-familiar and heard again, can transport us into the past, and about roop way sounds are wedded to places.
The “atmosphere” of a favourite place, Toop convincingly argues, usually has a larger aural component than we consciously realise. Haunted Weather is not just a deeply thoughtful and richly populated survey of modern experimental music, it’s a meditation on hearing itself.
Toop has the rare gift of being able to evoke sound in words, and makes you want to hear the works he describes.
Only weafher does a kind of reflex snobbery lower the tone: In fact, the best modern pop is exactly where avant-garde sound design coexists with melody-led composition: If anything, one is likely to be frustrated by weatyer fact that Toop refuses to make value judgments.
In this book he plays the role of omnivorous collector rather than critic. You feel like asking: OK, this CD of amplified beetles, is it actually any good? I made that one up, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it exists.
Is it better than that CD of a generator’s hum? Are there any criteria at all for judging this sort of thing? One possible response would be to say that desires to analyse and judge are a hangover from the old hierarchical days of composer, conductor and dacid. The new sound haaunted is about experience for its own sake, about taking marvellous imaginary journeys with the ears, about empowering the listener as much as the practitioner.
This is true to some extent, yet some theorists of this stuff are still operating under certain moral suppositions that should be questioned.
By the end of this book, you might even be tempted to say that John Cage and his acolytes behaved as they did because they hated music. Certainly that inference is forgivable on reading what Tokyo-based artist Yoshio Machida tells Toop: I feel so too. Machida works with a computer program that produces an endless stream of music according to algorithmic rules. This is “generative music”, heir to Mozart’s dice games and Cage’s experiments with chance. The problem with most generative music is that, listening to it, you begin to fear that you might be trapped for ever inside an elevator.
Haunted Weather: Music, Silence, and Memory by David Toop
The vogue for it is tied into a techno-hippy line of reasoning that favours evolution “bottom-up” tlop design “top-down”. As Eno puts it to Toop, generative music is like gardening – you plant the seed and watch it grow. One wether to say: The Forth Bridge, aeroplanes and Mozart’s 40th Symphony are pretty startling achievements. The kind of new-age inverted snobbery that derides some of history’s most sublime artistic work in order to worship the mechanisms of Gaia is profoundly anti-humanist.
The closer to nature we get, the more we jettison what separates us from the other animals. As Toop rightly points out, birdsong is not music. Music is human, and a million singing robots aren’t worth a single Kurt Cobain. Tokp education Pop and rock Music books features.