in Epistles, Sound


Dear Henry,

If only you had lived to see the Kindle, what could you have done with Black Spring?




(14 Jan 9:00am draft)


This electronic words you are holding represent a book which is more than 10 years old.


Much has changed in 10 years, in the world, and in sound and music.


Hotmail to Napster to Friendster to MySpace to Facebook.


9/11. Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. Barack Obama.


Arab Spring. Occupy Wall Street.


Peter Sellars finally directed an opera at the Met.


Maryanne Amacher sadly left this world.


Much has changed.



In terms of sound art, there has been a proliferation of academic programs in “sound studies”, “sound art” and in some schools, just “sound” or “audio.” Geneologies of audio art have begun to emerge, and yet a theoretical foundation for audio art has yet to emerge.



This ebook does not contain a revised edition of Sound Generation. Rather it is a transcription of the actual final proof from March 2008, the last proof produced, with all footnotes approved by the artists. It is our hope that this ebook publication can spark a new revised print edition to be published in the coming year. We welcome reader feedback on areas for revision and further investigation and new footnotes and references. (The print book has much room for marginalia!)



We know that this book is “dated” in some ways. Particularly striking was the way that artists thought about “the ‘net” and “the future of the internet.” (I hope that someone organizes an exhibition about “the Internet as imagined in 1999” someday!) Most of these discussions were already removed from the Colloquy by the 2008 draft, but some remain in discussions of MP3 and digital distribution.



The purpose of this ebook remains the same now as it was in 2008: to create a remarkable and impossible conversation between a number of 20th century practitioners, to investigate their backgrounds, their techniques and the implications of their work; to generate new possibilities for audio art, and to indirectly support new social formations enabled by new sounds on earth.


Alexis Bhagat
New York City
Jan 14, 2013


Jan 14, 2013

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