Sonic Possible Worlds – Revised Edition

Sonic Possible Worlds, Revised Edition: Hearing the Continuum of Sound



Salomé Voegelin

Published by Bloomsbury Academic

From its use in literary theory, film criticism and the discourse of games design, Salomé Voegelin expands “possible world theory” to think the worlding of sound in music, in art and in the everyday. The modal logic of possible worlds, articulated principally via David K. Lewis and developed through Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological life-worlds, creates a view on the invisible slices of the world and reflects on how to make them count, politically and aesthetically. How to make them thinkable and accessible as the possibility of the everyday and of art: to reach a new materialist understanding from the invisible and to develop an ear for the as yet inaudible.

This revised edition continues Voegelin’s exploration of the sonic possibility of the world into the sonic possibility and impossibility of the body. Listening to works by Áine O’Dwyer, Hannah Silva and Jocy de Oliveira, it considers sonic possible worlds’ radical power to rethink normative constructions and to fabulate a different body from its sound. Thus, the word continuum in the subtitle of this book, Hearing the Continuum of Sound, which in the first edition stood principally for the continuum between music and sound art, is opened up to denote also another continuum that stands as principle for the body, while including that of sound: Hearing the Continuum Between Plural Bodies Breathing, between humans, humanoid aliens, monsters, vampires, animals, plants, things and anything we have no name for yet but which a sonic philosophy might start to hear and call.


"Salomé Voegelin is a brilliant and subtle thinker about sound and music, so Sonic Possible Worlds: Hearing the Continuum of Sound, Revised Edition is a deeply explored and essential study of the necessity of listening, of openly absorbing what sound tells us of our shared world, listening which gives us access to the fluid nature of relationships and connections, to the interactive web of the world and our participation in it through awareness of this 'complex continuity' and of ourselves inextricably enmeshed within it.
Voegelin generously maps many ways of practicing listening to sonic worlds and of sharing access to the ever-expanding “possible world” of sound-life, then goes further, leaping beyond our physical and conceptual limits, diving into sound we cannot hear but which affects us, becoming part of our apprehensible world and of our learning how to live within it." - Annea Lockwood, Composer and Professor Emeritus, Vassar College, USA

"In this highly anticipated and essential second edition, Voegelin thinks about bodies and presents with rigor and extraordinary clarity the way sound may open us up to the plural possibility of bodily existence. Effortlessly interlacing phenomenology, feminist and queer theories, and weaving together sound thought and practice, while remaining precise yet accessible, the author invites us to listen to our own and each other’s bodies, enjoy their transforming, hybrid and even monstrous capacities, and discover the emancipatory force of their soundings." - Mikhail Karikis, Film Director and Professor, MIMA School of Art & Design, Teesside University, UK


ISBN 9781501367618
Available to buy from Bloomsbury

Sonic Possible Worlds Book cover

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