In The Politics of Vibration Marcus Boon explores music as a material practice of vibration. Focusing on the work of three contemporary musicians--Hindustani classical vocalist Pandit Pran Nath, Swedish drone composer and philosopher Catherine Christer Hennix, and Houston-based hip-hop musician DJ Screw--Boon outlines how music constructs a vibrational space of individual and collective transformation. Contributing to a new interdisciplinary field of vibration studies, he understands vibration as a mathematical and a physical concept, as a religious or ontological force, and as a psychological determinant of subjectivity. Boon contends that music, as a shaping of vibration, needs to be recognized as a cosmopolitical practice--in the sense introduced by Isabelle Stengers--in which what music is within a society depends on what kinds of access to vibration are permitted, and to whom. This politics of vibration constitutes the hidden ontology of contemporary music because the organization of vibration shapes individual music scenes as well as the ethical choices that participants in these scenes make about how they want to live in the world.
About the Author
Marcus Boon is Professor of English at York University, author of In Praise of Copying and The Road of Excess: A History of Writers on Drugs, and coauthor of Nothing: Three Inquiries in Buddhism.