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Drever, John Levack

The Exploitation of ‘Tangible Ghosts’: Conjectures on soundscape recording and its reappropriation in sound art


Organised Sound: Vol. 4, no. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 25-29.

The aim of this paper is to question and explore why this ostensibly benign and increasingly common procedure (i.e. the routine of soundscape recording/sampling/abstracting, editing, retouching, transforming, mixing, recontextualising . . . ) may result in a durable confrontation with ‘terror’ accompanied by ethical compromise. To articulate a personal and intuitive response, The author refers to critical writings on photography to illuminate sound (i.e. utilising the photograph as a counterpoint to the sonic record). He focuses in particular on the recording and the re-appropriation of human utterance in electroacoustic music, as it is probably the most intimate, as well as familiar, sonic material to humans.

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Sunday 10 July 2005, by Leigh Landy