Ocean of Sound David Toop
I picked this up expecting a history of ambient music and while it did deliver on that front, what ultimately emerged was as much a history of how we experience sound as it was a mere chronology of artists, records, or performances. Originally published in the mid-90s at the dawn of the information age and aided in part by its non-linear structure, Ocean of Sound draws upon a vast and varied array of references and resources to weave the story of how our relationship with sound was radically changed by technology in the 20th century. From Debussy hearing Javanese gamelan in 1889 to early Aphex Twin via John Cage, Alice Coltrane, Kate Bush, Fourth World, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, and Pauline Oliveros (not to mention Toop’s own experiences with composition and ethnographic field recording), this is as indispensable as it is unputdownable.
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