Varieties of Audio Mimesis is many things: an investigation of the metaphoric relationships between music and landscape, a study of the poetics of onomatopoeia, and a theory of sound in the arts.
The history of European musicology is perennially revised around the central ontological debate about whether music is a representationnal or an abstract art. This discussion may be extended to all of the sound arts. Thus the minor poetic phenomenon of onomatopoeia is emblematic of what might be seen as the ontological aporia of sound art (and by extension of all representation): mimesis is simultaneously a loss and a gain, placing representation on uneven ground where the signified loses structural integrity and existential verifiability, while the signifier gains in complexity and ambiguity. Through literacy, performative, and sonic analysis, this book simultaneouly serves as a tool for investigating the micro-structures of audiophonic representation; proposes a unified, though open-ended, field theory of the sound arts; offers expanded descriptive possibilities for audio productions; and revises the study of audio mimesis in relation to gardens and landscape.