From Duncan’s HD Book

by devinking

In the old rites, Eros appeared as an unwrought stone. And from our childhood, for some of us dim, for some of us vivid, memories remain of the way a stone could seem to be alive. The presence or protective genius of a stone could become a secret ally of oneself. For the sculptor the stone “speaks” and his work emerges along the lines of a colloquy between his listening and–out of a dumbness or meaninglessness of matter, were it not for this listening–a language of space which the stone has evoked for him…for the imagination, for the mind seeking communication, to create in its life a serious play, even inert matter is alive with person. So, for the Orphic poets, the seed of egg of the universe is created by Hyle, the primal chaos of matter.

–Robert Duncan, The HD Book

Sound invites the body into experience and reciprocally makes the object physical. Listening to sound is where objectivity and subjectivity meet: in the experience of our own generative perception we produce the objectivity from our subjective and particular position of listening, which in its turn is constituted by the objectivity of the object as a prior moment of hearing, subjective and particular. It is this particularity of the listening subject in the contingency of his experience that has to be kept in mind, in order…not to turn the individual subject already into an (objective) universal; in order, in other words, to avoid ideology and hierarchy. It is neither the thing that dominates the being nor the being that dominates the thing. They are reciprocal and equivalent, but in their momentary meeting they are also distinct. They are produced on the spot, together, in difference, any prior objectivity and prior subjectivity is invested in this momentary and complex production but does not subsume it.

–Salomé Voegelin, Listening to Noise and Silence: Towards a Philosophy of Sound Art

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