ABOUT THIS BOOK
We live in an electronic world, saturated with electronic sounds. Yet, electronic sounds aren’t a new phenomenon; they have long permeated our sonic landscape. What began as the otherworldly sounds of the film score for the 1956 film Forbidden Planet and the rarefied, new timbres of Stockhausen’s Kontakte a few years later, is now a common soundscape in technology, media, and an array of musical genres and subgenres. More people than ever before can produce and listen to electronic music, from isolated experimenters, classical and jazz musicians, to rock musicians, sound recordists, and the newer generations of electronic musicians making hip-hop, house, techno, and ambient music. Increasingly we are listening to electronic sounds, finding new meanings in them, experimenting with them, and rehearing them as listeners and makers.
Live Wires explores how five key electronic technologies—the tape recorder, circuit, computer, microphone, and turntable—revolutionized musical thought. Featuring the work of major figures in electronic music—including everyone from Schaeffer, Varèse, Xenakis, Babbitt, and Oliveros to Eno, Keith Emerson, Grandmaster Flash, Juan Atkins, and Holly Herndon—Live Wires is an arresting discussion of the powerful musical ideas that are being recycled, rethought, and remixed by the most interesting electronic composers and musicians today.