This is a major new work from one of the world's most erudite, intellectual, and influential thinkers and writers about sound and music. "Sinister Resonance" begins with the premise that sound is a haunting, a ghost, a presence whose location is ambiguous and whose existence is transitory. The intangibility of sound is uncanny - a phenomenal presence in the head, at its point of source and all around. The close listener is like a medium who draws out substance from that which is not entirely there. The history of listening must be constructed from the narratives of myth and fiction, 'silent' arts such as painting, the resonance of architecture, auditory artefacts and nature. In such contexts, sound often functions as a metaphor for mystical revelation, forbidden desires, formlessness, the unknown, and the unconscious. As if reading a map of hitherto unexplored territory, "Sinister Resonance" deciphers sounds and silences buried within the ghostly horrors of Arthur Machen, Shirley Jackson, Charles Dickens, M.R.
James and Edgar Allen Poe, Dutch genre painting from Rembrandt to Vermeer, artists as diverse as Francis Bacon and Juan Munoz, and the writing of many modernist authors including Virginia Woolf, Samuel Beckett, and James Joyce.
It's as if contemporary culture has developed a case of hyperacusis in the form of Toop's 'perpetual vigilance' as he haunts the permeable boundary between the extremities of sound and the fullness of silence. Ruminating on its unmatched power of evocation, Toop manifests sound after transient sound from the pages of this 'silent art', increasing awareness of our own auditory acuity as the walls between inner and outer space collapse around our ears. - David Sylvian
It's all about a sound that no one could hear except those who might listen. And for ears that [can] dream.........what a noise !!! -Brothers Quay
David Toop is the brilliant voyager of our sonic century, for whom music is a map of our dreams. With Sinister Resonance he takes us yet farther and deeper into coordinates uncharted but remembered all the same, beyond the horizon where the listener meets the listened. - Steve Erickson
Section one: Aerial.1. Drowned by voices.2. Each echoing opening; each muffled closure.3. Dark senses.4. Writhing sigla.5. The jagged dog.Section two: Vessels and Volumes.6. Act of silence.7. Art of silence.8. A conversation piece.Section three: Spectral.9. Chair creaks, but no one sits there.Section four: Interior Resonance.10. Snow falling on snow.Coda: Distant Voices.Acknowledgements.Notes.Index.