This introduction to Inner Sound: Altered States of Consciousness in Electronic Music and Audio-Visual Media outlines the background, aims, and scope of the book. The chapter begins by introducing altered states of consciousness through a description of visual hallucinations, which may have provided a basis for some of the oldest-known artworks. Next, a brief historical overview of altered states is given, from ancient shamanic traditions and cults, to modern-day use of psychedelic drugs such as LSD. The use of altered states in these contexts has resulted in a variety of associated art, literature, music, films, and video games, which in recent years have been rendered with the aid of new sound and audio-visual technologies. These works provide the main focus of Inner Sound, which explores the relationship of altered states of consciousness with electronic music and audio-visual media, in order to develop a conceptual theory of ‘Altered States of Consciousness Simulations’.
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