Centre for Sound and Image

Recent Publications

Our internationally significant outputs are published across a range of media, from traditional formats of books and journal articles to creative practice works across film, sound and performance.

Art of Sound: Creativity in Film Sound and Electroacoustic Music

Knight-Hill, Andrew and Margetson, Emma (2024) Art of Sound: Creativity in Film Sound and Electroacustic Music, London: Routledge. ISBN:  9780367755881

Bringing together a diverse group of world leading professionals across Post-Production Film Sound and Electroacoustic Music, Art of Sound explores the creative principles that underpin how sonic practitioners act to compose, tell stories, make us feel, and communicate via sound. Revealing new understandings through analysis of interdisciplinary exchanges and interviews, this book investigates questions of aesthetics, perception, and interpretation, unveiling opportunities for a greater appreciation of the artistry in sound practice which underpins both experimental electronic music and the world’s leading film and television productions.

It argues that we can better understand and appreciate the creative act if we regard it as a constantly unfolding process of inspiration, material action, and reflection. In contrast to traditional notions, which imagine outputs as developed to reflect a preconceived creative vision, our approach recognises that the output is always emerging as the practitioner flows with their materials in search of their solution, constantly negotiating the rich networks of potential. This enables us to better celebrate the reality of the creative process, de-centring technologies and universal rules, and potentially opening up the ways in which we think about sonic practices to embrace more diverse ideas and approaches.

Art of Sound provides insight into the latest developments and approaches to sound and image practice for composers, filmmakers, directors, scholars, producers, sound designers, sound editors, sound mixers, and students who are interested in understanding the creative potential of sound.

Explosions in the Mind: Composing Psychedelic Sounds and Visualisations

Weinel, J. (2021) Explosions in the Mind: Composing Psychedelic Sounds and Visualisations. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9789811640575

This book explores how to compose sounds and visualisations that represent psychedelic hallucinations and experiences of synaesthesia. Through a detailed discussion regarding compositional methodologies and technical approaches, the book aims to educate students, practitioners, and researchers working in related areas. It weaves together sound, visual design, and code across a range of media, providing conceptual approaches, theoretical insights, and practical strategies, which unlock new design frameworks for composing psychedelic sounds and visualisations.

The Paths of Zatoichi: The Global Influence of the Blind Swordsman

Wroot, Jonathan (2021) The Paths of Zatoichi: The Global Influence of the Blind Swordsman, Lexington Books. ISBN: 978-1-7936-0121-6

The Paths of Zatoichi charts the history and influence of the Japanese film and television franchise about Zatoichi the blind swordsman. The franchise is comprised of 29 films and 100 TV episodes (starring the famous Shintaro Katsu, who starred in 26 of the 29 feature films). They all follow the adventures of a blind masseur in medieval Japan, who wanders from village to village and often has to defend himself with his deadly sword skills. The first film was released in 1962 and the most recent in 2010. These dates demonstrate how the franchise can be used as a means of charting Japanese cinema history, via the shifts in production practices and audience preferences which affected the Zatoichi series and numerous other film and TV texts. Zatoichi signifies a huge area of Japanese film history which has largely been ignored in much existing scholarly research, and yet it can reveal much about the appeal of long-running characters, franchises, and their constant adaptation and influence within global popular culture.

New Blood: Critical Approaches to Contemporary Horror

Falvey, Eddie, Wroot, Jonathan and Hickinbottom, Joe (eds.) (2021) New Blood: Critical Approaches to Contemporary Horror, University of Wales Press. ISBN: 9781786836342

The taste for horror is arguably as great today as it has ever been. Since the turn of the millennium, the horror genre has seen various developments emerging out of a range of contexts, from new industry paradigms and distribution practices to the advancement of subgenres that reflect new and evolving fears. New Blood builds upon preceding horror scholarship to offer a series of critical perspectives on the genre since the year 2000, presenting a collection of case studies on topics as diverse as the emergence of new critical categories (such as the contentiously named ‘prestige horror’), new subgenres (including ‘digital folk horror’ and ‘desktop horror’) and horror on-demand (‘Netflix horror’), and including analyses of key films such as The Witch and Raw and TV shows like Stranger Things and Channel Zero. Never losing sight of the horror genre’s ongoing political economy, New Blood is an exciting contribution to film and horror scholarship that will prove to be an essential addition to the shelves of researchers, students and fans alike.

Sound & Image: Aesthetics and Practices

Sound and Image: Aesthetics and Practices (2020) brings together international artist scholars to explore diverse sound and image practices, applying critical perspectives to interrogate and evaluate both the aesthetics and practices that underpin the audiovisual.

Contributions draw upon established discourses in electroacoustic music, media art history, film studies, critical theory and dance; framing and critiquing these arguments within the context of diverse audiovisual practices. The volume’s interdisciplinary perspective contributes to the rich and evolving dialogue surrounding the audiovisual, demonstrating the value and significance of practice informed theory, and theory derived from practice. The ideas and approaches explored within this book will find application in a wide range of contexts across the whole scope of audiovisuality, from visual music and experimental film, to narrative film and documentary, to live performance, sound design and into sonic art and electroacoustic music.

This book is ideal for artists, composers and researchers investigating theoretical positions and compositional practices which bring together sound and image.

Inner Sound: Altered States of Consciousness in Electronic Music and Audio-Visual Media

Weinel, J. (2018) Inner Sound: Altered States of Consciousness in Electronic Music and Audio-Visual Media. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780190671198.

Over the last century, developments in electronic music and art have enabled new possibilities for creating audio and audio-visual artworks. With this new potential has come the possibility for representing subjective internal conscious states, such as the experience of hallucinations, using digital technology. Combined with immersive technologies such as virtual reality goggles and high-quality loudspeakers, the potential for accurate simulations of conscious encounters such as Altered States of Consciousness (ASCs) is rapidly advancing.

In Inner Sound, author Jonathan Weinel traverses the creative influence of ASCs, from Amazonian chicha festivals to the synaesthetic assaults of neon raves; and from an immersive outdoor electroacoustic performance on an Athenian hilltop to a mushroom trip on a tropical island in virtual reality. Beginning with a discussion of consciousness, the book explores how our subjective realities may change during states of dream, psychedelic experience, meditation, and trance. Taking a broad view across a wide range of genres, Inner Sound draws connections between shamanic art and music, and the modern technoshamanism of psychedelic rock, electronic dance music, and electroacoustic music. Going beyond the sonic into the visual, the book also examines the role of altered states in film, visual music, VJ performances, interactive video games, and virtual reality applications.

Through the analysis of these examples, Weinel uncovers common mechanisms, and ultimately proposes a conceptual model for Altered States of Consciousness Simulations (ASCSs). This theoretical model describes how sound can be used to simulate various subjective states of consciousness from a first-person perspective, in an interactive context. Throughout the book, the ethical issues regarding altered states of consciousness in electronic music and audio-visual media are also examined, ultimately allowing the reader not only to consider the design of ASCSs, but also the implications of their use for digital society.

Future Sounds: The Temporality of Noise

Kennedy, Stephen (2018), Future Sounds: The Temporality of Noise. (1st) ISBN: 9781501321054 NB Item availability restricted.

What can the sounds of today tell us about the future? Can an analysis of sound and sonic practices allow us to make reliable predictions in relation to wider social phenomena? And what might they tell us about technology in a world where futurology is such a frenzied and busy field? In order to answer these questions, this book tests a range of propositions that connect noise, sound and music to political, economic and technological events. Hence it is a book about historical trajectories and conflicting ideas about time and the necessity to re-contextualize and interpret them in the digital age.

Chaos Media: A Sonic Economy of Digital Space

Kennedy, Stephen (2015) Chaos Media: A Sonic Economy of Digital Space, London: Bloomsbury. ISBN:9781623567064.

The contemporary media landscape might be described in simple terms as a digital terrain where real and virtual worlds collide. Stephen Kennedy investigates the concept of our digital space leading up to the digital turn of the 1990s to fully understand how our perceptions of orientation in space in time was altered.

Chaos Media: A Sonic Economy of Digital Space re-thinks the five fundamental paths to our contemporary understanding of the digital age: cultural, political, economic, scientific, and aesthetic, and ties them together to form a coherent whole in order to demonstrate how critical thinking can be reconfigured using a methodological approach that uses 'chaos' and 'complexity' as systematic tools for studying contemporary mediated space.

Kennedy introduces the concept of Sonic Economy, a methodology that allows for a critical engagement with the heterogeneous elements of an information society wherein the dispersion of discrete elements is manifest but not always clearly visible.