Ocean of Sound: Aether Talk, Ambient Sound and Imaginary by David Toop

By David Toop

Ocean of Sound starts in 1889 on the Paris Exposition whilst Debussy first heard Javanese track played. An airy tradition absorbed in body spray, mild and ambient sound built in keeping with the intangibility of twentieth century communications. David Toop strains the evolution of this tradition, via Erik Satie to the Velvet Undergound; Miles Davis to Jimi Hendrix.

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Ocean of Sound: Aether Talk, Ambient Sound and Imaginary Worlds

Ocean of Sound starts off in 1889 on the Paris Exposition whilst Debussy first heard Javanese track played. An airy tradition absorbed in fragrance, gentle and ambient sound built according to the intangibility of twentieth century communications. David Toop lines the evolution of this tradition, via Erik Satie to the Velvet Undergound; Miles Davis to Jimi Hendrix.

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I found this proof in TurkeY. It's more fantastic than sdence fiction. My assessment may be biased,since I can only judge II 27 ocean of sound the cOntents from Sun Ra's fragmentary description of the contents, but from what he passes on to me, the general drift of this channelled wiSdom 'jS classic science fiction: superior . alien.. wish to raise the consciousness of humans because the mess we ate maIdng is threatening the balance of the Cosmos, so they transmit secret knowledge to a place where the vibrations are right; .

But many forces were chipping away at the hierarchical, separatedl'oles of producers and consumers. eroded fixed definitioDsof performance, performer and audience. The aim of dancing your ass off, sacred or profane,was in- . spire-d by disco's flow motion, the seamless mix that transformed three-minute pop songs (Phil Spector's little symphonies for the kids) into long-form epics. like an all-night performance of Balinese gamelan or a Central African cult ceremony, the music moved through dusk until dawn.

One end Of the room. A couple encased ilimulti~hued. poly'. vinyl Julian CIary-type outfits camp around in a gloom lit by luminoUs globes wrapped in sheets and bubble lights produced by a·bank of projectors. Garden gnomes sit on green · toadstools, their pointy ears attuned to a background drone of · Indian tambouras and what nJay be the sound ofherdiog SQngS recorded in some. Jce participation per:forinance art, I wanderinto the other rooms to hear 1iveperformances of programmed music. Weekend, I peruse some of the evolving cmiQSities of the ambient club.

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