Sound: An Acoulogical Treatise
Michel Chion is a composer, filmmaker, teacher, researcher, and the author of several books, including Film, A Sound Art; The Voice in Cinema; and Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen.
James A. Steintrager is Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and European Languages and Studies at the University of California, Irvine; he is the author, most recently, of The Autonomy of Pleasure: Libertines, License, and Sexual Revolution.
The Wheel of Causes
This chapter focuses on what the author labels “ergo-audition”: listening to sounds that we cause, be it consciously, semiconsciously, or unconsciously. Ergo-audition is different from passive listening and involves intervening in and usually attempting to control sounds or to control certain aspects of the world by making and modulating sounds. Ergo-audition covers a range of experiences, from simple feedback mechanisms (judging the fullness of a receptacle based on changes in harmonic timbre in a liquid being poured) to the psychological and perceptual complexities involved in hearing ourselves speak—with or without recording devices—and which involves the production of audio-phonatory loops. Ergo-audition can further be broken down into different categories: cases where sound is isomorphic with the action of producing the sound; those where isomorphism is subtle or staggered; and cases where action and sound are not isomorphic.