4/21: Final Session. Noise Revisited

Hearing Modernity, Final Session Jacques Attali, “Music as Predictive Social Science” Monday, April 21 5:15 pm, Paine Hall Harvard University (Please note time/location change from previous sessions) * * * “More than colors and forms, it is sounds and their arrangements that fashion societies. With noise is born disorder and its opposite: the world. With… Read more »

Marek Poliks: Slippage and Elision

Slippage and Elision in Massumi and Connor (Marek Poliks) At first glance, for me anyways, it seemed like the papers submitted by Brian Massumi and Steven Connor had nothing to say to each other. After some time, I found a fertile metaphor in the contentive cliffs partitioning their respective projects. Both papers make and elide… Read more »

T. Brandon Evans: Grand Narratives

T. Brandon Evans Sawyer Seminar 2013-14: Hearing Modernity Soundblog   Response to “Grand Narratives of Sound,” with Veit Erlmann and Jonathan Sterne   Is sound studies a viable discipline?  What are the questions that structure its coherence, if it can be said to have any?  How are claims to sonic or auditory knowledge recognized and… Read more »

Matthew Blackmar: Media / Technology

Trevor Pinch’s and Flagg Miller’s panel reminds us that technologies of sound mediation (and their histories) are socially mediated and culturally situated, their uses contingent on contexts and their users.  In this brief essay, I wish to revisit the Sawyer Session through the filter of my youthful experiences with audiocassette recorders and analog synthesizers, in… Read more »

Steffi Probst: Aural Memory

From (aural) memory, I recollect a selection of events which inspired the latest session of Hearing Modernity, all of them reconstructions of a sonic past in one way or another. Bijsterveld’s presentation opened with a photograph of Erich Mielke’s desk. (source: Maastricht, 2013: Historian and Professor of Science, Technology & Modern Culture Karin Bijsterveld receives a… Read more »

Peter McMurray: Response to Bijsterveld and Ernst

            In his talk at the Intonarumori series at the MFA today, Seth Cluett opened with an image of himself lying in a bathtub listening to the sounds of his apartment through water. I’d like to open with a similar gesture of personal sound and architecture. This is a view from… Read more »

Intonarumori at SMFA: Seth Cluett

On March 31st, 2014 came the third installment of the School of the Museum of Fine Art’s Intonarumori lecture series, running in parallel to Harvard’s Hearing Modernity series. This time around, we were joined by artist, performer, and composer Seth Cluett. His work, as described on his website, ranges from photography and drawing to video,… Read more »

Michael Kushell: Towards a Post-Decolonial Study of Sound

In his introduction to The Audible Past, Jonathan Sterne explains the book’s concentration on an almost entirely elite, male, white, European/North American cast of characters as a natural corollary of the circumstances behind the historical development of sound recording technology. While this may (or may not) justify the exclusion from Sterne’s highly influential volume of… Read more »

3/31: Session 7. Aural Memory

One of the recurring motifs of our series thus far has been the uncanny ways in which our last few panels all seem to have fit better under the heading of the previous session. Mara Mills suggested that her session with Mark Butler could well have been called “Mediated Technologies” (while also observing astutely that… Read more »

Caufield Schnug: Sonic Torture, Everyday Listening

Caufield Schnug Sonic Torture, Everyday Listening After the news broke that U.S.-run detention centers used music as a method of physical and psychological torture for detainees, both academic circles and popular presses have been investigating the continuing critical relevance of the topic. In popular media, responses to accounts of sonic torture in secret prisons like… Read more »