The Book of Music and Nature: An Anthology of Sounds, Words, Thoughts / Edition 2

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Overview

This innovative book, assembled by the editors of the renowned periodical Terra Nova, is the first anthology published on the subject of music and nature. Lush and evocative, yoking together the simplicities and complexities of the world of natural sound and the music inspired by it, this collection includes essays, illustrations, and plenty of sounds and music. The Book of Music and Nature celebrates our relationship with natural soundscapes while posing stimulating questions about that very relationship. The book ranges widely, with the interplay of the texts and sounds creating a conversation that readers from all walks of life will find provocative and accessible.

The anthology includes classic texts on music and nature by 20th century masters including John Cage, Hazrat Inrayat Khan, Pierre Schaeffer, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Toru Takemitsu. Innovative essays by Brian Eno, Pauline Oliveros, David Toop, Hildegard Westerkamp and Evan Eisenberg also appear. Interspersed throughout are short fictional excerpts by authors Rafi Zabor, Alejo Carpentier, and Junichiro Tanazaki.

The audio material for the book, available online at http://www.wesleyan.edu/wespress/musicandnaturecd/, includes fifteen tracks of music made out of, or reflective of, natural sounds, ranging from Babenzele Pygmy music to Australian butcherbirds, and from Pauline Oliveros to Brian Eno.

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What People Are Saying

John Schaefer
"The Book of Music and Nature cheerfully debunks the old 'music is the universal language' cliche; pays homage to masters like John Cage, Brian Eno and Toru Takemitsu; detours for a koan-like story by David James Duncan and a tall tale from David Toop; and, finally, acknowledges the written word's ultimate limitations in the face of music with an illuminating CD. The Book of Music and Nature is an impressive work: important, provocative and comprehensive."
John Schaefer
"The Book of Music and Nature cheerfully debunks the old ‘music is the universal language’ cliché; pays homage to masters like John Cage, Brian Eno and Toru Takemitsu; detours for a koan-like story by David James Duncan and a tall tale from David Toop; and, finally, acknowledges the written word’s ultimate limitations in the face of music with an illuminating CD. The Book of Music and Nature is an impressive work: important, provocative and comprehensive."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819569356
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Series: Music Culture
  • Edition description: 2nd edition, includes audio web links
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 449,265
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

David Rothenberg is a composer and associate professor of philosophy at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. In 1996, he founded Terra Nova: Nature and Culture, a literary and artistic quarterly that looks at the cultural possibilities of environmentalism. Marta Ulvaeus received a PhD from NYU in performance studies. She was assistant editor of TDR (The Drama Review) for three years before becoming associate editor of Terra Nova.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Does Nature Understand Music? 1
The Music of the Spheres 13
Primal Sound 21
Happy New Ears 25
Diary: Emma Lake Music Workshop 1965 30
An Interview with Pierre Schaeffer 34
Deus ex Machina 45
Music and the Soundscape 58
The Music of the Earth 69
from The Bear Comes Home 77
Sax Can Moo ... 81
from Piano Pieces 84
Music, Nature, and Computers: A Showdown 91
Nature, Sound Art, and the Sacred 95
My One Conversation with Collin Walcott 108
from Coming through Slaughter 116
from Rubicon Beach 121
The Sharawadji Effect 123
Sonic Images 131
The Poetics of Environmental Sound 133
Ambient Music 139
Speaking from Inside the Soundscape 143
Toothwalkers 153
Blind Listening 163
from Exotica 169
from Brother of Sleep 177
The Place Where You Go to Listen 181
Nature and Music 183
Life-Up-Over Sounding 193
Sweet Singer of the Pine Barrens 207
Where the Sounds Live 215
from "A Portrait of Shunkin" 225
Contributors 249
Permissions 253
Index 255
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