Research

My research is highly interdisciplinary, operating at the intersection of media studies, cultural studies, and philosophy. My 2016 book investigates sonic-sensory dimensions of low frequency sound. From the publisher…

Low End Theory 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 (including hauntings, laboratories, organ workshops, burial mounds, sound art, studios, dancefloors, infrasonic anomalies, and a global mystery called The Hum). Low End Theory 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 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 draw bodily thought into new equations with itself and its surroundings? Low End Theory is the first book to survey this sonorous terrain and devise a conceptual language proper to it. With its focus on sound’s structuring agency and the multi-sensory aspects of sonic experience, it 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.

More details at Bloomsbury.com.

Publishing

Books

Jasen, Paul. Modular Synthesis: A Handbook for Musicians and Makers. [in progress]

Jasen, Paul. Low End Theory: Bass, Bodies and the Materiality of Sonic Experience. (Bloomsbury, 2016)

Other publications (* peer reviewed)

* Jasen, Paul. “Perceptual Abstraction: Transversal Strategies in the Vibratory Arts,” The Senses and Society. 9 No. 1 (March 2014).

Jasen, Paul, editor. Surrounding Sound – An Electric Fields Symposium. Ottawa: Art Engine. (Web publication, Fall 2013).

Jasen, Paul. “Acoustemes: How does sound shape knowledge?” in Surrounding Sound – An Electric Fields Symposium. Ottawa: Art Engine. (2013; in above)

* Braunn, Glenn, Sebastien Caquard, Paul Jasen, Benjamin Wright. “Designing Sound in Cybercartography: From Structured Narratives to Unpredictable Sound/Image Interaction,” International Journal of Geographical Information Science. 22 No. 11 (2008).

Select Conferences and Presentations

“Ritual Sound Design:¬†Engineering Numinous Affect”
The Affect Project Conference, Winnipeg, Canada.

“What Happened to Didactic Pop?”
Duncombe Studio for Social and Cultural Analysis (“Sound, Music and Protest: Manifestations of a Cultural Mode”), Carleton University.

“Numinous Strategies: Resonating with Divinity”
American Anthropological Association (AAA) Annual Meeting (Music and Sound Interest Group), Montreal.

“Bass: A Myth-Science of the Sonic Body” (Multimedia performance)
Electric Fields Festival/Artengine, Ottawa, Canada.

“Bass Cultures and the Sensory Construction of the Audio-Social”
International Association for the Study of Popular Music, Canada (IASPM-Canada) Annual Conference, Dalhousie University.

“Keeping It Real: Tensions of Authenticity in the Production of Rap Music”
International Association for the Study of Popular Music, Canada (IASPM-Canada) Annual Conference, Carleton University.

“Canadians in the International Electro-Feminist Punk Movement”
Canadian Studies Graduate Student Conference, Carleton University.