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The nonvulgar journey of sound art

I listen, I hear, I obey.

Historical mapping reconceptualized, audibly so. I hear the pop, clunk, hum, clink, buzz of the sound agent provocateurs scrambling to inscribe difference.

Tomtoumtomtoumtomtoum’; the ‘Cage’ of sound Arts past. I hear hindsight. ‘Bwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa’; the sound of sound arts future.

I hear possibility, dynamic, open, multiple, textured, outside ‘time, (is there outside time?).

Referring to Heidegger, Derrida describes how, in the nonvulgar or ‘Greek’ conception of time, times past, present, and future converge and diverge; they are at once glancing, touching and yet so very distant. The nonvulgar appear and disappear in this composition's motifs, they ascribe difference, blend and further differentiate how I listen. I hear the sound of the oncoming community, Nietzsche’s Übermenschare, nonvulgar, allegorical. This sound journey has no pause, the repeating beating ‘new order’ of fleeting voices propels concepts adnauseam. Everything that can happen is happening, and not only once, but infinitely. Turning and returning. It does not go along with a simple, linear, modernist scenario. But further problematizes sound arts institutionalized patterns of irrationality.

Further along the plane I hear double meanings, a double-pincer of the future: one linear, one non-linear. It invokes individuation, movement, body, and sensation. Voicing announcements of the future of noise; whilst scattering uncanny silence, more a buzz than a beep of the future becoming.

Is this a compositional transformative strategy, or my listening as relational and ultimately performative? I hear the sound future that never arrives because it was already always here. It sounds non-linear, atemporal or polymorphically temporal. It presents post-human possibilities as resonant and reverberant.

Ironically, this playful and metaphorical collage of sound arts genealogy is not only broader, but more literally plausible than what Heidegger calls the received or “vulgar” view of orderly, progressive, linear time. Language itself, the splintering of sounds into signs, into embodied and disembodied representations, signals and signifiers, call into question my subjective image of the past: a schizophrenic plane of signification, a neurotic creativity, the disunity of the singularity of becoming sound.

Finally, I hear silence, an absent sense of knowing, of the heard, that I project into a future: pop merging with click, and dissolution into ecstasy, which relieves my constitutive sense of loss. Lacan suggests that this loss is based on the illusion of the uncoordinated. As a listener at the end of this work I feel like a wobbly toddler looking in the mirror and happily hallucinating in my own disunity. Once again language splintering signification. I am left with the idea of an uncomfortable wholeness. The reconciliation of sound arts past with its future seems like an empirical illusion.

Ennioa Neoptolomus

85min Stereo audio composition Arranged and Composed by J Milo Taylor Mixed by Joel Cahen

Installation Touring U.K. Galleries with Wetsounds (Underwater Sound Gallery)

Ffordd Gwynedd
Bangor,  LL57 1DT

25th Jan 2011 - 28th Jan 2011
12.30 - 16.30
Free entry

30 Pembroke Street
Oxford  OX1 1BP
Tel: 01865 722 733

12th Feb 2011
16:30 - 18:00
Following a talk by Joel Cahen 15:00 - 16:30

The Whitechapel Art Gallery
77-82 Whitechapel High Street
E1 7QX   t.020 7522 7888

1st - 6th March 2011
at the Reading room

The Star and Shadow
Stepney Bank
0191 261 0066

Sunday 6th Feb
15:00 - 18:00


10–14 Waterloo Place
Brighton BN2 9NB

3rd March  18:00

Vivid Gallery
140 Heath Mill Ln
B9 4AR

22nd - 27th March
times tba