Paul C. Jasen
Low End Theory
Bass, Bodies and the Materiality of Sonic Experience
Bloomsbury Academic 2016
As audio technology has advanced, so has our love-affair with deep bass. Dr. Paul Jasen‘s book, Low End Theory: Bass, Bodies and the Materiality of Sonic Experience (Bloomsbury, 2016), probes the much-mythologized field of bass and low-frequency sound. It begins in music but quickly moves far beyond, following vibratory phenomena across time, disciplines and disparate cultural spheres. Dr. Jasen asks what it is about bass that has fascinated us for so long and made it such a busy site of bio-technological experimentation, driving developments in science, technology, the arts, and even religious culture. The guiding question is not so much what we make of bass, but what it makes of us: how does it undulate and unsettle; how does it incite; how does it generate the phenomenon of bodily thought? As one critic puts it, Low End Theory provides us with an ontology of bass. With its focus on sounds structuring agency and the multi-sensory aspects of sonic experience, Dr. Jasen’s work stands to make a transformative contribution to the study of music and sound, while pushing scholarship on affect, materiality, and the senses into fertile new territory.
Dr. Paul Jasen received BA in History from Lakehead University, and did his MA in Canadian Studies and PhD in Cultural Mediations at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Currently he is an instructor in Music and Communication Studies at Carleton and teaches courses in digital, visual and audio culture, as well as digital media production. He has a professional background in web/multimedia development and graphic design. And he has also been a DJ, with recordings featured on radio and podcasts in several countries, and a sound designer, having collaborated with architects and cartographers on large-scale multimedia projects. You can find out more about his projects at www.riddim.ca, www.deeptime.net/blog, and soon at his new site apeopleofoscillators.com.
Carrie Lynn Evans is a PhD student at Universite Laval in Quebec City.