Noise: A Politics of Sound

  • Lynne Kendrick


The extent of theatre aurality is explored in this chapter which turns the ear towards those sounds which are chaotic, disorienting and loud: noise. Through the theses of Michel Serres, noise is explored as an agitatory entity and how this is manifested in sounds that exert power—through amplitude, cacophony or disorder—in ways that are designed to move meaning and shift our understanding. This chapter asks in what ways can noise in theatre be reproduced? In response, the chapter focuses on: noise as an organising principle, in the theatre of Teatr ZAR; noise as a methodology, in the work by Chris Goode; and noise as a sonic entity in the practices of the contemporary sound designers Tom Gibbons, Scott Gibbons and Ben & Max Ringham. These different manifestations of noise are designed to make their presence felt; from the movements of their material presence to the performance of a collapse of structure, noise is sound designed to work on the listener—to demand something from audiences in ways that cannot be ignored. Its very presence is a politics of sound.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Royal Central School of Speech and DramaLondonUK

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