Sound Unbound is now available! I recently served as Assistant Editor to Paul D. Miller a.k.a. DJ Spooky on his essay collection, Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture. Contributors include Erik Davis, Manuel De Landa, Cory Doctorow, Chuck D, Brian Eno, Dick Hebdige, Vijay Iyer, Jaron Lanier, Jonathan Lethem, Moby, Steve Reich, Simon Reynolds, Scanner aka Robin Rimbaud, Bruce Sterling, Lucy Walker, and Saul Williams, among many others — and now it’s out.
To celebrate and commemorate the book’s release, Paul’s doing a reading in New York with Jonathan Lethem. Here’s the announcement from Paul:
Sound Unbound is a manifesto about sound art, digital media, and what I like to call contemporary composition. It has essays and interviews from people as diverse as Brian Eno, Pierre Boulez, Moby, Chuck D, Saul Williams, Jaron Lanier, Pauline Oliveros, Naeem Mohaiemen, and others. The audio companion to the book has super rare material from Sub Rosa Records, one of my favorite indie labels. I got rare material from Allen Ginsberg, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Iggy Pop, Jean Cocteau, Vladimir Mayakovsky, and lots other others. I guess you can think of the book as a kind of literary mashup.
We’re having the Sound Unbound book launch event at McNally Robinson, a great bookstore. The launch event will be between me and Jonathan Lethem, the legendary writer.
The event is as follows:
Who: Paul D. Miller and Jonathan Lethem
What: Readings from new books. Sound Unbound and Jonathan’s new novel You Don’t Love Me Yet.
Where: McNally Robinson Bookstore
52 Prince St, just off of Lafayette
When: Friday May, 2nd 2008, 7pm
If you’re in the area, check it out.
Also, you can get Sound Unbound from Powell’s here.
And here are some blurbs about it:
“What a marvelous collection! This provocative and wide ranging book is packed with a vast number of facts and theories: the sound of creation in the Vedas, the Muslim influence on early hip hop, mathematical permutations of bell patterns (Eno), the term ‘Emptyv’ (Chuck D). The essays criss cross over many aspects of sound–cosmic, chemical, political, economic. It sparks questions (Can sound be translated into light?) and presents bits of information like the name for Jamaican sound systems (‘Houses of Joy’). Plus you get to meet fascinating characters like Alex Steinweiss (album cover artist), Motown’s Berry Gordon and synthesizer pioneer Raymond Scott. And you get to consider how Bach’s style might have been influenced by his job copying Vivaldi scores. Reading Sound Unbound also invites you to reconsider techno hype, as when Bruce Sterling describes laptops as ‘colorful, buzzing cuddly things with the lifespan of hamsters.’ I love this book!”
— Laurie Anderson
“Paul Miller has grabbed disparate philosophies and references from the past five hundred years and tied them into a neat and interesting narrative on music, sound, and current thought in our time. Sound Unbound is an excellent reference on art–in the popular context–in the twenty-first century.”
— Branford Marsalis
“It’s a lovely eclectic collection that is a nice antidote to the usual way music and the history of music is often categorized into high/low, pop/classical, or black/white. I like Sterling’s analogy between our beloved high-tech media and inscrutable indecipherable archaic media like Incan quipus. From Raymond Scott to the hidden racism in digital circuitry to a history of easy listening, there is enough inspiring weirdness here to fuel some musical fires for a good while.”
— David Byrne
“Everything must be about one thing first, then it can be about many things. Paul Miller’s collection of texts is about one thing: the use of scanning in music and more generally the world around us. He gives us a single structure to put very different experiences and theoretical constructs into an overarching context. The result is always interesting and often illuminating. These essays by thinkers and practitioners range widely and produce their own static and interferences, but they fall into one perceptible rhythm. A good staging of an opera uses what you see on stage to make you hear better. Similarly, these reflections make it easier to tune in to the sometimes confusing soundscape of our dislocated, interrelated, networked times.”
— Robert Wilson
“For the maverick rhythm scientist Paul D. Miller, sound is liquid; it spills over and slips under categories, firewalls, case law, and legal codes to find us and move us. In the same way, his important collection of sound thinkers and sound ideas calls us to remove the fake ‘security’ imposed on us by capital and state, and, more crucially, to reimagine freedom and reclaim our creativity.”
— Jeff Chang, author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation
“Paul Miller is one of the best cultural radars in the world today. He always picks out the most relevant people working today and reveals previously unseen connections. If you want situational awareness about the world of sound, music, performance, computers, and ideas, read this book.”
— Lev Manovich, Visual Arts Department, University of California, San Diego