River Music: An Atchafalaya Story. Author Ann McCutchan. Louisiana's Atchafalaya River Basin, the heart and soul of Acadiana, or Cajun country, is the focus of this compelling narrative by Ann McCutchan. A masterful weaving of cultural and environmental history, River Music also tells the life story of Louisiana musician, naturalist, and sound documentarian Earl Robicheaux.
With Robicheaux as her guide, McCutchan embarks on a musical, visual, literary, and historical tour of the Atchafalaya, where bayous, swamps, marshes, and river delta country have long sustained nature and culture, even as industry has changed both the landscape and the people. Along the way, she and Robicheaux pay homage to distinctive voices of the region's singular soundscape, including Acadian and Native American elders, birds, frogs, alligators, wind, water, and weather, which Robicheaux chronicles in archival recordings and musical compositions for museum exhibits, radio programs, and repositories such as the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. In counterpoint, McCutchan recounts Robicheaux's remarkable struggles as a jazz and classical artist, Katrina victim, cancer survivor, and steadfast son of the Basin devoted to remembering, preserving, and sounding out the ecological and cultural riches of his home.
An original blend of nature writing, music history, biography, journalism, and memoir, River Music: An Atchafalaya Story eloquently celebrates the one-and-half-million watery acres that have shaped the lives of the people there-and been transformed by them in return. An epilogue written in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and the disastrous oil spill that followed provides a fitting and poignant coda to this memorable book.
River Music also includes a CD of Atchafalaya soundscapes recorded and composed by Earl Robicheaux. (Source: Press Release)
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press - Gulf Coast Books
Release date: September 9, 2011
Pre-order through Amazon, or your local independent bookstore.
How Early American Sounded. Author Richard Cullen Rath. "My hope is that by attending to sound I have been able to open up parts of these worlds, not to get a glimpse of them but to listen in. These were worlds much more alive with sound than our own, worlds not yet disenchanted, worlds perhaps even chanted into being."—from the Introduction
In early America, every sound had a living, willful force at its source. Sometimes these forces were not human or even visible. In this fascinating and highly original work of cultural history, Richard Cullen Rath recreates in rich detail a world remote from our own, one in which sounds were charged with meaning and power.
From thunder and roaring waterfalls to bells and drums, natural and human-made sounds other than language were central to the lives of the inhabitants of colonial America. Rath considers the multiple soundscapes shaped by European Americans, Native Americans, and African Americans from 1600 to 1770, and particularly the methods that people used to interpret and express their beliefs about sound. In the process he shows how sound shaped identities, bonded communities, and underscored—or undermined—the power of authorities.
This book's stunning evidence of the importance of sound in early America—even among the highly literate New England Puritans—reminds us of a time before a world dominated by the visual, a young country where hearing was a more crucial part of living. (Source: Publisher)
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Published: October 2005
Listening to Nineteenth-Century America. Author: Mark M. Smith. Arguing for the importance of the aural dimension of history, Mark M. Smith contends that to understand what it meant to be northern or southern, slave or free--to understand sectionalism and the attitudes toward modernity that led to the Civil War--we must consider how antebellum Americans comprehended the sounds and silences they heard.
Smith explores how northerners and southerners perceived the sounds associated with antebellum developments including the market revolution, industrialization, westward expansion, and abolitionism. In northern modernization, southern slaveholders heard the noise of the mob, the din of industrialism, and threats to what they considered their quiet, orderly way of life; in southern slavery, northern abolitionists and capitalists heard the screams of enslaved labor, the silence of oppression, and signals of premodernity that threatened their vision of the American future. Sectional consciousness was profoundly influenced by the sounds people attributed to their regions. And as sectionalism hardened into fierce antagonism, it propelled the nation toward its most earsplitting conflict, the Civil War. (Source: Publisher)
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Published: December 2001
SoundScape-Dialog. Landschaften und Methoden des Hörens (Soundscape-Dialog. Landscapes and Methods of Listening). Author: Hans U. Werner. In the meetings and movements of our everyday life, we communicate constantly in the acoustic dimension. "Soundscape-Dialog" explores soundscapes and methods of listening.
Acoustic design and communication are awareness-creating sound paths between elemental sense training and plans for a carefully tuned society. Werner provides examples from nature, landscape, village and city, composition with sounds for film and audio-intensive Soundwalks Virtual lay close by its own environment and lives of the recipients. The sounds and atmospheres of our time are man-made, they can be through the power of the ear change. Soundscape-Dialog combines the acoustic ecology of the Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer, educators and sound now with a worldwide network of landscapes and methods of listening.
Publisher: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
Published: September 2006
Audio Recording: Sound Localities Compilation
Sound Localities is a project that explores sound in the city through field recordings and exchanges from artists in 7 cities in the local, regional and international space around Mons, Belgium. From Ghent, Brussels, London, Madrid, Hong Kong and Seoul, the project seeks to produce a dialogue amongst disparate places and individuals through their localised experiences to explore possibilities of imagining a wider global space. The full compilation can be downloaded online for free on this site.