Sonic Somatic: Performances of the Unsound Body
Published by Errant Bodies Press (Audio Issues Vol. 5), 296 page, black and white images. Design by fliegende Teilchen, Berlin. Index by Juliana Pivato. ISBN: 978-0-9827439-4-2.
This book delineates a territory of investigation for sound art and its various manifestations through historical, theoretical, polemical and critical analyses of artistic, musical and literary works. In doing so, Migone gives radical definition to an auditory study that includes the complexity of silence and mutism, identity and abjecthood, and language and its stutterances. The recurring site of these stagings is the somatic under all its forms: embodied and disembodied, fragmented and amplified, vocal and mute.
Concrete sites that are investigated include: Antonin Artaud’s writings, Alvin Lucier’s recording “I am sitting in a room”, Erik Satie’s composition “Vexations”, Marina Abramovic’s performance “Rhythm 0”, Adrian Piper’s “Untitled Performance for Max’s Kansas City”, Melville’s short story “Bartleby, the Scrivener”, Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson’s documentary film “First Contact”, and John Cage’s “4’33””.
For all those who wish to hear anew, you need consult the microphage, sonobrut, statictician, parasitist, glissomaniac, salivatrope, rhythmologist, anticrooner, petomane, slurpophile, melophobe, stutterist, phonophone, linguadrome aka Christof Migone. Sonic Somatic is not only an extensive historical survey and an intensive theoretical analysis, but also a do-it-yourself guide to disarticulation and dissonance, aphasia and schizophonia, glossolalia and deliria. This book is a must for anybody involved in experimental sound, music, performance.
—Allen S. Weiss