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Is it possible to grow electronic sounds, as if they were plants in a garden? Can the resonance of an empty room be played like a musical instrument? Why are childhood memories of sound and silence so important to our emotional development? Is it valid to classify audio recordings of wind or electrical hum as musical compositions? Can computers replace more conventional in Is it possible to grow electronic sounds, as if they were plants in a garden? Can the resonance of an empty room be played like a musical instrument? Why are childhood memories of sound and silence so important to our emotional development? Is it valid to classify audio recordings of wind or electrical hum as musical compositions? Can computers replace more conventional instruments like the piano or the electric guitar? How can improvisation coexist with computer software? Why have the sounds of our environment become so vital to sound artists and why is atmosphere so important in music? In Haunted Weather, David Toop asks these questions and gauges the impact of new technology on contemporary music. Partly personal memoir, partly travel journal, the book explores ways in which the body survives and redefines the boundaries in a period of intense, unsettling change and disembodiment. At the heart of the book is how sound and silence in space, in memory and in the action of performance acquire meaning. Haunted Weather is a book that maps the 21st century sound just as Toop's Ocean of Sound mapped the sound of the 20th century.


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Is it possible to grow electronic sounds, as if they were plants in a garden? Can the resonance of an empty room be played like a musical instrument? Why are childhood memories of sound and silence so important to our emotional development? Is it valid to classify audio recordings of wind or electrical hum as musical compositions? Can computers replace more conventional in Is it possible to grow electronic sounds, as if they were plants in a garden? Can the resonance of an empty room be played like a musical instrument? Why are childhood memories of sound and silence so important to our emotional development? Is it valid to classify audio recordings of wind or electrical hum as musical compositions? Can computers replace more conventional instruments like the piano or the electric guitar? How can improvisation coexist with computer software? Why have the sounds of our environment become so vital to sound artists and why is atmosphere so important in music? In Haunted Weather, David Toop asks these questions and gauges the impact of new technology on contemporary music. Partly personal memoir, partly travel journal, the book explores ways in which the body survives and redefines the boundaries in a period of intense, unsettling change and disembodiment. At the heart of the book is how sound and silence in space, in memory and in the action of performance acquire meaning. Haunted Weather is a book that maps the 21st century sound just as Toop's Ocean of Sound mapped the sound of the 20th century.

30 review for Haunted Weather: Music, Silence, and Memory

  1. 5 out of 5

    sphamilton

    Dipping again into this fantastic book about music and sound, and how they are affected by the body and the environment. If that makes it sound dry, it's not: Toop has a beautiful, slightly eerily deadpan prose style, and an extraordinarily wide range of reference. He's been a music journalist and musician for decades, and has also done ethnographic work collecting music and sound. Fantastically wide-ranging - covers everything from the emotional charge of sound memories, to how places shape sou Dipping again into this fantastic book about music and sound, and how they are affected by the body and the environment. If that makes it sound dry, it's not: Toop has a beautiful, slightly eerily deadpan prose style, and an extraordinarily wide range of reference. He's been a music journalist and musician for decades, and has also done ethnographic work collecting music and sound. Fantastically wide-ranging - covers everything from the emotional charge of sound memories, to how places shape sound (looking at objects like Japanese garden noise-makers which use irregular water drops). There's also an interesting bit about how mechanisation and the industrialisation of the city led to a whole new industry devoted to suppressing sound: he has a wonderful list of Edwardian products which emerged from this industry, of which my favourite is 'Tomb' Brand Deadening Felt.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Joe Richards

    'Haunted Weather' serves as something between a travel diary, rich with descriptive examples of fascinating and unique performances, compositions, interviews, observations and memories, and a meditation on the relationships between sound, silence, performer and audience. A heady subject reach, full of wonder, analysis and reflection, Toop's delivery is nonetheless relatable and involving. It's hard to finish a chapter without stopping to research the composition or performer as they are describe 'Haunted Weather' serves as something between a travel diary, rich with descriptive examples of fascinating and unique performances, compositions, interviews, observations and memories, and a meditation on the relationships between sound, silence, performer and audience. A heady subject reach, full of wonder, analysis and reflection, Toop's delivery is nonetheless relatable and involving. It's hard to finish a chapter without stopping to research the composition or performer as they are described. It is relentlessly interesting. As an introduction to David Toop, it has been a deeply impressionable one. His thoughtful and incredibly aware listening abilities are eye-opening, and his breadth of knowledge and cultural awareness is inspiring. Recommended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Thordur Arnarson

    Brilliant book. Read it years ago, need to read it again.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Maddie

    David has many things to say and its endearing to read, the enthusiasm reads through. But sadly theres too much endearing, too many artists to display that it all comes as a bit of a mess. youre using more of your time trying to cram a dozen different artist names + their works into their heads if you dont know them rather than focusing on the point of the book, that also finds itself completely lost in Davids eagerness to talk about the many artists. (which all contributed really interesting wor David has many things to say and its endearing to read, the enthusiasm reads through. But sadly theres too much endearing, too many artists to display that it all comes as a bit of a mess. youre using more of your time trying to cram a dozen different artist names + their works into their heads if you dont know them rather than focusing on the point of the book, that also finds itself completely lost in Davids eagerness to talk about the many artists. (which all contributed really interesting work might I add). overall an interesting project that gets dragged down by being unfocused and seemingly without a bigger point that ties it all together. all in all, read it for the cavalcade of artists and fun tidbits from interviews and interesting ways of recording, because sadly if there ever was a point to be discovered and talked about, it got completely lost in the process

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chris Harris

    Another colletion of essays about the nature of music and, more broadly, the human experience of sound or its absence. Although there's a discography at the back, it's more than a little frustrating, as some of the works discussed are almost impossible to track down as physical recordings (look, I'm old, okay? I like my music in the shape of a physical artefact) but there are enough anecdotes, observations, and narrative detours that it's an entertaining read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    severyn

    No passion. Compare Alex Ross, Evan Eisenberg.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Germancho

    Very informative, and full of nice revelations on the nature of our perception of sounds and their connection to the way we see and remember the world. However, it's far too anecdotical and dwells too much on japanese sound artists which leads to long, adoring, and repetitive paragraphs surrounding a single "untranslatable" japanese concept.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Neugestalt

    This is my all time favourite book on music. David Toop eloquently and mindfully discusses what are, for me, the most interesting aspects of experimental music across countries and time. Several years after I first read it, I still pick it up continuously to read sections at random.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joel

    Perhaps one of the best books on music I've read, Haunted Weather offers insight into the diverse worlds of digital music, found sounds, soundscapes and improvisation. Toop discusses the way these are interpreted by the mind and body in a sophisticated though not convoluted manner.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shane

    I know I'll be coming back to this.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Loren

    Horrid cover graphic but, as always with Toop, interesting anecdotes about sound art take priority over pretentious theorizing and its cliches.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Penny

    A bit too anecdotal ultimately. BUMMER.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    Great. Now I have to spend another two weeks searching for out-of-print cd's. I never found more than 5% of my list from Toop's Ocean of Sound. But it's all worth it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

  15. 5 out of 5

    Arun

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stuart

  17. 5 out of 5

    Proun

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rick

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ray

  20. 5 out of 5

    Steven Lowery

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jane Austen

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sean Rooney

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sheikh Tajamul

  24. 5 out of 5

    Riley Fitzgerald

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joel Carr

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tony

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

  28. 5 out of 5

    Benito Jr.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Olivia treloar

  30. 4 out of 5

    John Ridener

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