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Salomé Voegelin - The Political Possibility Of Sound

Seven essays to encourage a discussion on the possibility of the political that includes creativity and invention, and articulates a politics that imagines transformation and the desire to embrace a connected and collaborative world.

The themes of these essays emerge from and deepen discussions started in Voegelin’s previous books, Listening to Noise and Silence and Sonic Possible Worlds. Continuing the methodological juxtaposition of phenomenology and logic and writing from close sonic encounters each represents a fragment of listening to a variety of sound works, to music, the acoustic environment and to poetry, to hear their possibilities and develop words for what appears impossible.

As fragments of writing they respond to ideas on geography and migration, bring into play formless subjectivities and trans-objective identities, and practice collectivity and a sonic cosmopolitanism through the hearing of shared volumes. They involve the unheard and the in-between to contribute to current discussions on new materialism, and perform vertical readings to reach the depth of sound.

Table of contents

Light Song (A Text Score)
1. Introduction: Writing Fragments
2. The Political Possibility of Sound
3. Hearing Volumes: Architecture, Light and Words
4. Geographies of Sound: Performing Impossible Territories
5. Morality of the Invisible, Ethics of the Inaudible
6. Hearing Subjectivities: Bodies, Forms and Formlessness
7. Sonic Materialism: A Philosophy of Digging
8. Reading Fragments of Listening, Hearing Vertical Lines of Words
Putting on Lipstick (A Text Score)


“Salomé Voegelin’s careful, poetic essays explore what she calls the ‘complexity of the ephemeral’ in several registers at once – political, personal, philosophical, cultural. Each essay explores the possibility of a politics of sound that emphasises always the ‘incomplete, the unfamiliar, the unrecognizable and the unheard?’. Describing the emergence of a ‘sonic cosmopolitanism’, Voegelin’s text operates both as multiple entryways into various artists and sonic practices, but the essays also work as a united, stirring plea for the polyphony of the present.” – Nina Power, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Roehampton, UK

“Drifting in and out of physical matter, The Political Possibility of Sound is an in-depth adventure into hearing, listening and cross-referencing the politics of sound and also its making. This is a very slow read in a fast world – it is like a rare intellectual dream world of expanded possibilities of the audio thinking space. A must-read for all musicians!” – Antye Greie-Ripatti (aka AGF)

Paperback, published in 2018, 240 pages.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic / ISBN: 9781501312168
Medium: Book


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