Sinister Resonance begins with the premise that sound is a haunting, a ghost, a presence whose location in space is ambiguous and whose existence in time is transitory. The intangibility of sound is uncanny a phenomenal presence both in the head, at its point of source and all around, and never entirely distinct from auditory hallucinations. The close listener is like a medium who draws out substance from that which is not entirely there.
The history of listening must be constructed from narratives of myth and fiction, silent arts such as painting, the resonance of architecture, auditory artefacts and nature. In such contexts, sound often functions as a metaphor for mystical revelation, instability, forbidden desires, disorder, formlessness, the unknown, unconscious and extra-human, a representation of immaterial worlds. As if reading a map of hitherto unexplored territory, Sinister Resonance deciphers sounds and silences buried within the ghostly horrors of Arthur Machen, Shirley Jackson, Charles Dickens, Algernon Blackwood, M.R. James and Edgar Allen Poe, seventeenth century Dutch genre painting from Rembrandt to Vermeer, artists as diverse as Francis Bacon and Juan Munoz, Ad Reinhardt and Piero Della Francesca, and the writing of many modernist authors, including Virginia Woolf, Samuel Beckett, James Joyce and William Faulkner. Threaded through the book is Marcel Duchamp's curious observation "One can look at seeing but one can't hear hearing" and his concept of the infra-thin, those human experiences so fugitive that they exist only in the imaginative absences of perception.
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David Toop is a musician, writer, and sound curator. His acclaimed books include Rap Attack, Ocean of Sound, Exotica, and Haunted Weather. His writing has also appeared in The Wire, Bookforum, and the New York Times. He lives in London.Review:
It's as if contemporary culture has developed a case of hyperacusis in the form of Toop's 'perpetual vigilance' as he haunts the permeable boundary between the extremities of sound and the fullness of silence. Ruminating on its unmatched power of evocation, Toop manifests sound after transient sound from the pages of this 'silent art', increasing awareness of our own auditory acuity as the walls between inner and outer space collapse around our ears. - David Sylvian
David Toop is the brilliant voyager of our sonic century, for whom music is a map of our dreams. With Sinister Resonance he takes us yet farther and deeper into coordinates uncharted but remembered all the same, beyond the horizon where the listener meets the listened. - Steve Erickson
It's all about a sound that no one could hear except those who might listen. And for ears that [can] dream.........what a noise !!! -Brothers Quay
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Book Description Continuum Pub Group, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 1441149724
Book Description Harrisburg, PA, U.S.A.: Continuum International Publishing Group, Limited, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng. Bookseller Inventory # 3H30
Book Description Continuum Pub Group. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1441149724 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0710086
Book Description Continuum Pub Group, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P111441149724
Book Description Continuum Pub Group, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. New item. Bookseller Inventory # QX-175-42-9397419
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97814411497251.0
Book Description Continuum Pub Group, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # SONG1441149724