In the mature disciplines of physics and philosophy, as also now in the younger fields of biology and sociology, no phenomenon is deemed so slight as to be unworthy of investigation. What if we took sound studies as seriously as experimental musicians take every sort of sound? Is sound studies now mature enough to consider any sound, however slight, equally worthy of attention? Indeed, what would be the consequences of investigating a sound that is intently and agreeably meaningless?
Hillel Schwartz is an independent scholar with a PhD from Yale University. As co-founder of Sage Case Management (San Diego), he helps those confronted with urgent, complex medical issues. Also a poet, he has collaborated in translations of five books by the eminent Korean poets Ko Un and Kim Nam-jo. His own scholarly work includes The Culture of the Copy: Striking Likenesses, Unreasonable Facsimiles (1996) and Making Noise: From Babel to the Big Bang and Beyond (2011). His current research examines how notions of “emergency” have changed since the late 18th century. In the fall of 2014 he was the Holtzbrinck Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.