Sinister Resonance: The Mediumship of the Listener by David ToopSinister Resonance: The Mediumship of the Listener by David Toop

Sinister Resonance: The Mediumship of the Listener

byDavid Toop

Paperback | October 20, 2011

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Sinister Resonance begins with the premise that sound is a haunting, a ghost, a presence whose location is ambiguous and whose existence is transitory. The intangibility of sound is uncanny - a phenomenal presence in the head, at its point of source and all around. 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 the 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, forbidden desires, formlessness, the unknown, and the unconscious. 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, M.R. James and Edgar Allen Poe, Dutch genre painting from Rembrandt to Vermeer, artists as diverse as Francis Bacon and Juan Munoz, and the writing of many modernist authors including Virginia Woolf, Samuel Beckett, and James Joyce.

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.
Title:Sinister Resonance: The Mediumship of the ListenerFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.8 inPublished:October 20, 2011Publisher:BloomsburyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1441155872

ISBN - 13:9781441155870

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Table of Contents

Section one: Aerial
1. Drowned by voices
2. Each echoing opening; each muffled closure
3. Dark senses
4. Writhing sigla
5. The jagged dog
Section two: Vessels and Volumes
6. Act of silence
7. Art of silence
8. A conversation piece
Section three: Spectral
9. Chair creaks, but no one sits there
Section four: Interior Resonance
10. Snow falling on snow
Coda: Distant Voices

Editorial Reviews

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