(edited by) Stuart Hyatt, Janneane Blevins, Benjamin Blevins – Metaphonics. The Field Works Listener’s Guide


Jap Sam Books, ISBN: 978-9492852021, English, 265 pages, 20’18, The Netherlands

What is the limit to the documentation that can be provided with a music release? The different formats are usually confined to so-called ‘liner notes’, printed on a front cover or in booklets if they are particularly substantial, and placed within the packaging of both LPs and CDs. This book seems to challenge this concept, expanding it to more than 300 pages. This collection of writings begins with a 7 vinyl LP release (“Metaphonics: The Complete Field Works Recordings”), centred on the field recordings of musician Stuart Hyatt. Included are samples from specific locations and time, as well as tracks featuring musicians elaborating on these field recordings (Loscil, Matmos, The Field and Gazelle Twin among the others). This companion publication (a “listener’s guide”), is a specific product. As for the density and quantity of the material included, it might even be called a release in its own right. It contains two parts: the first contains essays on topics emerging from this practice: soundscapes, acoustic ecology, anthropophony (noise produced by humans) and biophony (the collective vocalising sounds produced by animals). The second is a guide to tracks, one by one, with data, notes and pictures. What unfolds before our eyes is a small, perceptual and ethnographic universe, a luxurious case that will hopefully motivate others.