Soundworks: Race, Sound, and Poetry in Production

Soundworks: Race, Sound, and Poetry in Production

by Anthony Reed

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In Soundworks Anthony Reed argues that studying sound requires conceiving it as process and as work. Since the long Black Arts era (ca. 1958–1974), intellectuals, poets, and musicians have defined black sound as radical aesthetic practice. Through their recorded collaborations as well as the accompanying interviews, essays, liner notes, and other media, they continually reinvent black sound conceptually and materially. Soundwork is Reed’s term for that material and conceptual labor of experimental sound practice framed by the institutions of the culture industry and shifting historical contexts. Through analyses of Langston Hughes’s collaboration with Charles Mingus, Amiri Baraka’s work with the New York Art Quartet, Jayne Cortez’s albums with the Firespitters, and the multimedia projects of Archie Shepp, Matana Roberts, Cecil Taylor, and Jeanne Lee, Reed shows that to grasp black sound as a radical philosophical and aesthetic insurgence requires attending to it as the product of material, technical, sensual, and ideological processes. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781478012795
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 11/23/2020
Series: Refiguring American Music
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 280
File size: 16 MB
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About the Author

Anthony Reed is Associate Professor of English at Vanderbilt University and author of Freedom Time: The Poetics and Politics of Black Experimental Writing.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  ix
Introduction. Black Sonic: Textuality  1
1. Voice Prints: Toward a Black Media Concept  23
2. Communities in Transition: A Poetics of Black Communism  61
3. Tomorrow is the Question! Amiri Baraka's Poetics for a Post-Revolutionary Age  103
4. Body/Language: The Semiotics and Poetics of Improvisation and Black Embodiment  143
Coda. No Simple Explanations  181
Notes  195
Bibliography  235
Index  251

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