Sinister Resonance: The Mediumship of the Listener

Sinister Resonance: The Mediumship of the Listener



David Toop

‘Sinister Resonance’ is the published outcome of four years of inter-related music practice, conference presentations, peer-reviewed academic articles and book chapters, and scholarly research related to the act of listening. Toop examines the possibility of ‘hearing’ otherwise silent media such as paintings and literary texts as if they are audio recordings. As a discursive text moving between scholarly analysis and listening journal, the book proposes a form of critical writing located between the act of making sound and the developing academic discourse of sound art.

Reviewed Times Higher. Listed as one of The Independent’s books of the year.

Toop’s related audio guide installation for Hoogstraten’s ‘A Peep Show with Views of the Interior’ was commissioned for ‘Sounds In the Gallery’, National Gallery, London (2009-present).


“Toop has provided a valuable companion to new departures in the academic study of sound.” –  Times Higher Education Supplement

“This fourth in Toop's series of meditations turns out to be the most illuminating yet.” –  The Independent

"Scarily erudite but ultimately enthralling." –

“Sinister Resonance succeeds in arguing for the centrality of sound to emotional, psychological, social and political experience. This marks a welcome break from conventional aesthetic analysis.” –  Radical Philosophy

"This is not just a book about the uncanny history of sound, but about the hidden affinities between eras and art forms. The patterns it divines make Sinister Resonance something like a sonically minded companion to Marina Warner's Phantasmagoria, on the haunted nature of photography and cinema." - The Wire


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Publisher: Continuum
ISBN 978-1441149725

272 pages
August 2010

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