Author Archives: davidtoop

About davidtoop

David Toop is a composer/musician, author and curator based in London who has worked in many fields of sound art and music, including improvisation, sound installations, field recordings, pop music production, music for television, theatre and dance. He has published five books, including Ocean of Sound, Haunted Weather, and Sinister Resonance: The Mediumship of the Listener, released eight solo albums, including Screen Ceremonies, Black Chamber and Sound Body, and as a critic has written for many publications, including The Wire, The Face, Leonardo Music Journal and Bookforum. Exhibitions he has curated include Sonic Boom at the Hayward Gallery, London, Playing John Cage at Arnolfini, Bristol, and Blow Up at Flat-Time House, London. Currently writing a two-volume book on free improvisation - Into the Maelstrom: Improvisation, Music and the Dream of Freedom - the first volume will be published by Bloomsbury in 2016. His opera – Star-shaped Biscuit – was performed as an Aldeburgh Faster Than Sound project in September 2012. He is Chair of Audio Culture and Improvisation at University of the Arts London.

many private concerts

I was obsessed with the slippery, unstable nature of the categories through which we learn to divide experience: time, the materiality of objects and the imperceptible slide into intangibility, what some called spirit though I would reject the word for … Continue reading

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a voice, uncanny instrument

The Quiet Coach on a train is often a site of tension. So when three male off-shore workers, all of them drunk as wasps drowning in a whiskey vat, decided to occupy a table just by the sign that said … Continue reading

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stick, spit, reed and tubing

  “Or maybe the music we are hearing tells us about the unconscious, coming from some place of archetypes or from the trauma of unspeakable secrets.” Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World, Timothy Morton.   There … Continue reading

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Skin and Bone Listening

How to be, where to be, in a space, with sound, with other bodies? For me, in relation to what performance is becoming, this has been the biggest question of the past year. What does it mean to hear? What … Continue reading

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that lead beneath brambles to the bodies and minds of others

The book jacket is designed by Vanessa Bell, sister to Virginia Woolf. Her drawing for the front of the jacket is of trees and grasses, many black pen lines pulling and curling in vortical movement, little differentiation made between figure … Continue reading

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Automatic writing

Robert Ashley’s death last week gave me the odd feeling that I should have been listening to more of his music. Absurd really, to self-impose a kind of obligation to consume. The truth is I loved his work but never … Continue reading

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Who will go mad with me

We were on Dartmoor, Brent Fore Hill at Ball Gate to be exact. The date was the 29th July, 1971, though there was little evidence of summer to be heard in the howling wind. During the same year I was … Continue reading

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