February 17, 2018

Navigating Noise

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first published here: https://www.udk-berlin.de/en/research/graduate-school/current-events-archive/book-launch-and-discussion-of-navigating-noise/

February 1, 2018

on noise, music and philosophy

Filed under: african noise foundation,music,philosophy — ABRAXAS @ 10:19 pm

Alas, we do hear noise, we can no longer act as though we and God alone inhabit the world; we are assailed by moaning, shouting, sobbing and supplications long before we arrive at meaning; we must therefore compose music at every moment in order to survive, feel, take part in conversations – as we do so we must expose ourselves to beasts and Sirens, to the dispersal of things, of the group and of our very limbs, to the Bacchantes. Without this background production containing the background noise, nothing else will hold together; nothing in the world, no one in the collective; not the senses, not the arts, not the parts of the body. Music precedes philosophy, no one can give themselves over to the latter without passing through the former.
Michel Serres
The Fives Senses

December 5, 2017

Navigating Noise

Filed under: african noise foundation,art,kerstin ergenzinger,nicola deane — ABRAXAS @ 10:10 am

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first published here: https://www.lehmanns.de/shop/kunst-musik-theater/40941590-9783960982609-kerstin-ergenzinger-navigating-noise

September 27, 2017


Filed under: african noise foundation,music — ABRAXAS @ 4:34 am

“If music affects snakes, it is not on account of the spiritual notions it offers them, but because snakes are long and coil their length upon the earth, because their bodies touch the earth at almost every point; and because the musical vibrations which are communicated to the earth affect them like a very subtle, very long massage.”
Antonin Artaud

August 2, 2017

AFRICAN NOISE FOUNDATION, Cape Town harbour, 1880: “We Promise Nothing, We Bring The Noise”

Filed under: african noise foundation — ABRAXAS @ 12:33 pm


April 18, 2017

noise and the mind

Filed under: african noise foundation,philosophy — ABRAXAS @ 2:55 pm

But the body knows the score, recognizes the crisis before the mind. It not only gets the steel ball rolling onto the intestines, but also activates the senses, setting them to the frequencies, at which the signals of new dangers can be received. Those signals appear as noise to the previous – pre-war – mind, as a breakdown in communication. The new mind, which the body floods with adrenaline, begins, like a rabbit in a forest of foxes – to decode all the signals, even if it’s not capable of fitting them into any narrative. The unified, ontologically comfortable mind splits: on the one hand, the pre-war mind refuses the possibility of catastrophe; on the other the war mind perceives everything as the signal that the end is nigh.

Aleksandar Hemon
Stop Making Sense: What is noise now will be music later

August 26, 2016


Filed under: african noise foundation,kaganof — ABRAXAS @ 9:33 pm


April 21, 2016

“the panic of sounds”

Filed under: african noise foundation,literature — ABRAXAS @ 12:27 pm

Now there followed in succession various sentences in a strange chaos, because they were mixed up with the conversations of the 12th and 13th march companies, which went on at the same time, and the telegram got completely lost in the panic of sounds.

The Good Soldier Svejk
Jaroslav Hašek
translated by Cecil Parrott

June 7, 2015

J.A. Seazer – 狂女節 (Kyojo Bushi) – 1972

Filed under: african noise foundation,music — ABRAXAS @ 5:25 pm

Track numero uno del disco 邪宗門 (Heresy) , publicado en 1972

May 28, 2015

junichiro tanizaki on the problem of sound recording technology

Filed under: african noise foundation,music,noisewomb — ABRAXAS @ 4:05 pm

Had we invented the phonograph and the radio, how much more faithfully they would reproduce the special character of our voices and our music. Japanese music is above all a music of reticence, of atmosphere. When recorded, or amplified by a loudspeaker, the greater part of its charm is lost. In conversation, too, we prefer the soft voice, the understatement. Most important of all are the pauses. Yet the phonograph and radio render these moments of silence utterly lifeless.
Junichiro Tanizaki
In Praise of Shadows

March 6, 2015

on the harp

Filed under: african noise foundation,music — ABRAXAS @ 8:10 pm

Our life is bound with the forest. Every initiation is related to the forest. The relationship between the people and the forest is seen in the ritual. The harp, or what we call the gombi, is crucial. In the strings of the harp are the intestines of our first ancestor, the first men who lived in the forest. It is the main instrument in the initiation ceremony, and it was the first religion of the forest.
Ernest of Gabon
quoted in The Masque of Africa

noise war

Filed under: african noise foundation — ABRAXAS @ 8:35 am

war was noise, to frighten the enemy. mutesa had fifty drummers, as many flute players, and any number of men ready to shake gourds with pebbles.
v.s. naipaul
the masque of africa

February 26, 2015

african noise foundation now broadcasting over 150 films 24/7 on vimeo

Filed under: african noise foundation — ABRAXAS @ 11:19 pm


watch them all here: https://vimeo.com/user33124224

November 6, 2014

good art is beautiful detritus

October 8, 2014

we promise nothing. we bring the noise.

Filed under: african noise foundation — ABRAXAS @ 5:44 pm


February 26, 2014

Sohlala Siphila (Staying Alive) – African Noise Foundation

Filed under: african noise foundation — ABRAXAS @ 3:16 pm

October 4, 2013

sounds of silence

Filed under: african noise foundation — ABRAXAS @ 10:15 pm

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September 28, 2013

sounds of silence

Filed under: african noise foundation,hearing landscape critically,music — ABRAXAS @ 9:47 pm

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September 18, 2013

some forms of noise sensitivity

Filed under: african noise foundation — ABRAXAS @ 11:30 am

Auditory Defensiveness

Extreme sensitivity/over sensitivity to sound

Many different sounds can trigger irritation, anxiety and aggression

A tendency to react negatively or with alarm to sensory input which is generally considered harmless or non-irritating to others

Impacts day-to-day life

Intolerance of chewing sounds & overhead lights, especially fluorescent lighting

Distracted by sounds not normally noticed by others; i.e. humming of lights or refrigerators, fans, heaters or clocks ticking

Bothered/distracted by background environmental sounds, e.g. lawn mowing or outside construction

Frequently asks people to be quiet: stop making noise, talking, humming, singing

Runs away, cries, and/or covers ears with loud or unexpected sounds

Avoids movie theatres, musical concerts, etc.

May decide whether they like certain people by the sound of their voice


Overly sensitive to sound

When you complain about noise, people often ask you, what noise?

Trouble tolerating everyday sounds, some of which seem unpleasantly loud to that person but not to others standing right next to them

Annoyance and general intolerance to any sounds that most people don’t notice or consider unpleasant

Sounds and vibrations from a neighbour’s stereo or noise from cars half way down the block can be torture

Use of earplugs fails to bring relief

Tries to avoid stressful sound situations

Seeks isolation / controlled sound environments

Interprets all daily events in terms of the noise that might potentially be produced

Quality of life compromised


Annoyed, or even enraged, by the sound of other people eating, chewing, breathing, coughing or other ordinary sounds

Annoyed by other people’s repetitive movements, such as leg-tapping, nail-biting and typing

Sensitivity to the offending sounds are often far more severe when the origin of the sound comes from a person that is emotionally connected to the sufferer

Can make life unbearable

Some people even feel boiling rage whenever they hear ‘that sound’

Certain sounds trigger emotional responses of irritation and anger to an everyday sound that would seem insignificant to most people

Exacerbated by stress or feeling tired/run-down

An adverse response to sound no matter what volume the sound is

Sometimes is further triggered by seeing the source of the offending sound


Adverse emotional response to sound

Not only fear the sound of the environment they are experiencing in real time (right now), they worry about the sound that future events of the day or in the near future will produce

Can take over one’s life and make one feel they need to isolate themselves to survive

September 14, 2013

Filed under: african noise foundation — ABRAXAS @ 9:03 am


December 18, 2012

Jacques Rancière on noise vs. speech

Filed under: african noise foundation,politics — ABRAXAS @ 4:23 am

We mustn’t think in terms of instances of noise that are growing louder, ready to be heard by us; or of new subjects that are about to emerge. You don’t have noise biding its time, speech in gestation and awaiting the moment when it will finally be heard. Instead, there is a combination of two relationships: there is the permanence of a conflictual relationship over what is noise, speech or silence; but there are also changes in the form of this division. On the one hand, throughout our society there is speech that is heard merely as noise. Thus, the speech of refusal uttered by people who are made unemployed because of relocation and restructuring is conceived simply as the noise made by a victim. However well-argued, it is always interpreted by the rulers and their experts as the noise of suffering. For them the world moves on and, in so doing, creates wounds and suffering that are to be construed as such. If we take the case of immigration, the people who negotiate with illegal immigrants [sans-papiers] on hunger strike know full well that they are talking not with suffering bodies, but with people who argue, who have learnt in Africa the art of discussion, and for whom speech is an important element of social life. This does not prevent the situation of the sans-papiers from generally being regarded as a phenomenon of suffering and treated as such. So you don’t have noise which is going to become speech, but speech which is always an issue of interpretation. Will it or won’t it be heard as speech? Where is it going to be heard as noise or as speech?


November 21, 2012


Filed under: african noise foundation — ABRAXAS @ 12:06 pm

November 20, 2012


Filed under: african noise foundation,signs of the times — ABRAXAS @ 7:04 pm

October 11, 2012

my lord bargain

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joel assaizky – music and all instruments
kaganof – vocal and lyrics
recorded in parkhurst at the a nul dubh studio, 2005

August 22, 2012

black slavery days – skulls (clappers)

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