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Spaces Speak, Are You Listening?: Experiencing Aural Architecture (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – Dezember 2006

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" Spaces Speak, Are You Listening? is book that would round out the collection of musician, engineer, architect, musical historian, or philosopher." Colin Novak International Journal of Acoustics and Vibration Outstanding Academic Title, 2007. Choice


This book discusses how we experience space by listening: the concepts of aural architecture, with examples ranging from Gothic cathedrals to surround sound home theater. We experience spaces not only by seeing but also by listening. We can navigate a room in the dark, and "hear" the emptiness of a house without furniture. Our experience of music in a concert hall depends on whether we sit in the front row or under the balcony. The unique acoustics of religious spaces acquire symbolic meaning. Social relationships are strongly influenced by the way that space changes sound. In "Spaces Speak, Are You Listening?", Barry Blesser and Linda-Ruth Salter examine auditory spatial awareness: experiencing space by attentive listening. Every environment has an aural architecture. The audible attributes of physical space have always contributed to the fabric of human culture, as demonstrated by prehistoric multimedia cave paintings, classical Greek open-air theaters, Gothic cathedrals, acoustic geography of French villages, modern music reproduction, and virtual spaces in home theaters. Auditory spatial awareness is a prism that reveals a culture's attitudes towards hearing and space.

Some listeners can learn to "see" objects with their ears, but even without training, we can all hear spatial geometry such as an open door or low ceiling. Integrating contributions from a wide range of disciplines - including architecture, music, acoustics, evolution, anthropology, cognitive psychology, audio engineering, and many others - "Spaces Speak, Are You Listening?" establishes the concepts and language of aural architecture. These concepts provide an interdisciplinary guide for anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of how space enhances our well-being. Aural architecture is not the exclusive domain of specialists. Accidentally or intentionally, we all function as aural architects.

In diesem Buch (Mehr dazu)
Architecture, which has been called the "mother of all arts," is concerned with the design, arrangement, and manipulation of the physical properties of a space. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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An interim review... 14. Juni 2007
Von Richard D. Pierce - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
A very engaging, wide-ranging look at the aural environment from many perspectives: cultural, historical, architectural, physical, sociological, political and more. The authors explore many of the deep and often times not-so-obvious connections and influences in an unusual, informative and refreshingly multi-disciplinary approach. Even though covered topics are broad in scope and complexity, the book is written in an easy and engaging conversational style that is neither academically stodgy nor technically overwhelming. But neither does it attempt to simplify the subject into shallow triviality.

Unlike many modern-day science popularizations, this book is not a simple distillation of some lofty academic field. Rather it is at once the introductory text, the major body of research and a pointer to even wider exploration of the a heretofore under-explored and under-appreciated topic. There's plenty of new and useful material here for the professional practitioner in a number of disciplines. At the same time, the entire book is accessible to the casual reader, the neophyte. No chapter or paragraph need be avoided by any reader: all are carried along with the narrative: none are left behind.

Personally, I have read book in out-of-order pieces as my busy schedule allows, without the feeling that I really should have read it in a more disciplined fashion. Rather than having to read other sections out of sheer necessity, I've gone back to fill in the holes more out of curiosity and interest.

If you want to understand the intimate connection between humans and the aural space they live in, there is no better place to find it than this book. If you're looking for a new model of understanding of a complex topic through an truly broad, interdisciplinary approach, this book is the best model I know of.

It's difficult to recommend it to highly.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Fascinating stuff 22. April 2013
Von Rachel E Alden - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
An interesting book that opens your mind to a different way of perceiving your surroundings and the way we look at architecture and spaces.
1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Ears Are Better Than Eyes 12. September 2010
Von AcuVox - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Since I first heard Stevie Winwood sing about his choice between deafness and blindness, I have known that my ears where primary. This book is the authoritative confirmation.

Barry Blesser defines a "New Science" in this book, which mirrors his leading-edge career. This is a shining example of Nexialism (the Science of Everything) because it integrates conventional divisions of science and painstakingly assembled factoids into a raft of fresh multi-disciplinary theses. It represents a decades-long study utilizing creative insights, and flows with well written, compelling examples without sacrificing rigor.

I met Barry at the 1978 Convention of the Audio Engineering Society, where he was demonstrating the first professional digital reverberation generator. This mathematical room simulator was the starting point for elucidating how our ears provide us with more and better information about our environment than our eyes.

Aural acuity and aurally generated mental maps have been largely lost in our visual culture, starting with Guttenberg's enabling of widespread education through reading alone and continuing to television and Internet where LCD monitors have replaced most direct human contact. This has been exacerbated by the Industrial Age which has filled the aural environment with the noise of motors, controlled explosions and collisions. Further insult and injury to our hearing sense comes from audio production by alarms and annuciators and sound reproduction by increasingly cheaper transducers. Modern architecture has produced terrible acoustic environments, some masquerading as suitable concert and conference venues as well as residence and office.

"Spaces Speak" is a clarion call to re-gain this lost ground. It describes how detailed and precise hearing can be, and how to achieve a synthetic aural environment as healthy as the natural world for which our sense evolved.

Thank you, Mr. Blesser, and BRAVO!

I commend this book to all my colleagues in the AES, CAS, ASA and AIA.
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Bless Blesser 12. Februar 2013
Von G. Hall - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I am acquainted with the author, who has an unmatched background to write on this topic. Barry Blesser was instrumental in and contributed to the development of one of the world's very first digital audio delay lines (the Gotham Audio Delta-T 101), as well as the very first commercial digital reverberator (The EMT 250).

By a long shaggy-dog story, he was also responsible for the coming-into-existence of Lexicon Inc., where I worked for several years in late 70s and 1980s). That led to the development (by Dr. David Griesinger and Lexicon's team of hardware engineers) and perfection (through Dr. Griesinger's insatiable thirst for the perfect reverb algorithm) of the Lexicon 224 and (later) 480L which dominated professional digital reverberation in the 80s, 90s, and beyond. In those years, I had the honor to work directly with Dr. Griesinger (a true genius) and to witness the birth of classic hardware and software for sound artists. Dr. Blesser I knew more distantly, but have the highest regard for.

I am just now beginning, but avidly anticipate the enjoyment of, reading Dr. Blesser's ground-breaking work on the subject of human perception of acoustic spaces. I'll report again when I finish. Thank you, Barry Blesser!
4 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Spaces Speak - review 11. Juni 2007
Von a4j - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Very interesting and new thinking about that sound around. Recommend for sound engineers, acoustic design architects, musicians and people who love music and/or are interested in the aural spaces abounding. Do you like John Cage, Terry Riley, ee cummings? Can you sing the sound of one _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _?
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