Haunted Weather: Music, Silence, and Memory (Five Star Paperback)

By David Toop  |  Finished: 31st December 2009  |  Back to library

Haunted Weather: Music, Silence, and Memory (Five Star Paperback)

People who market books need to make potential readers feel that a book is about something. So on the back of “Haunted Weather” you’ll be told that this book will help you to ‘navigate the 21st century sound-world’ and so on. Don’t take these statements seriously, but at the same time don’t dismiss this book.

David Toop is a musician and writer with some considerable work under his belt. Some of his previous books, such as “Rap Attack” and “Ocean of Sound”, dealt with specific topics, and were therefore easier to write back-cover blurbs for. “Haunted Weather”, on the other hand, doesn’t provide you with a narrative or story. Instead, it’s a collection of thoughts, vignettes, essays and anecdotes that has the potential to change your relationship with sound.

For example, what is silence? You might think you know the answer to that, but you’ve probably never actually experienced it unless you’ve been inside an anechoic chamber. Most people who have will tell you it’s far from peaceful, and difficult to endure for long periods of time. What we think of as “silence” is always filled with information in the form of sound, so sound plays a part in our lives even at the very points where we think we’ve escaped it.

As well as subjects like these, Toop also discusses the work of artists ranging from Autechre and Pan Sonic through to John Stevens, Christian Marclay and Toru Takemitsu. To read this book while listening to every composition mentioned would be a time-consuming and possibly expensive process, but one that I’d probably like to go through one day. David Toop is as musically erudite as they come.

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